Part 10 out of 11
animals were saved. Is it any wonder that deer are increasing almost
The great horned owl has been and still is a great scourge to the upland
game birds, partly because when game is abundant "they become
fastidious, and eat only the brains of their prey." The destruction of
3,139 of them on the Lower Mainland during the last two years has made
these owls sing very small, and says the warden, "Is it any wonder that
grouse are again increasing?"
I have discussed with the Provincial Game Warden the advisability of
putting a limit of one on the grizzly bear, but Mr. Williams advances
good reasons for the opinion that it would be impracticable to do so at
present. I am quite sure, however, that the time has already arrived
when a limit of one is necessary. During the present year three of my
friends who went hunting in British Columbia, _each killed 3 grizzly
bears!_ Hereafter I will "locate" no more bear hunters in that country
until the bag limit is reduced to one grizzly per year. Since 1905 the
trapping of bears south of the main line of the Canadian Pacific Railway
has been stopped; and an excellent move too. A Rocky Mountain without a
grizzly bear is like a tissue-paper rose.
The bag limit on the big game of British Columbia is at least twice too
liberal,--five deer, two elk, two moose (one in Kootenay County), three
caribou and three goats. There is no necessity for such wasteful
liberality. Few sportsmen go to British Columbia for the sake of a large
lot of animals. I know many men who have been there to hunt, and the
great majority cared more for the scenery and the wild romance of
camping out in ground mountains than for blood and trophies.
MANITOBA.--What are we to think of a "bag limit" of fifty ducks per day
in October and November? A "limit" indeed! Evidently, Manitoba is tired
of having ducks, ruffed grouse, pinnated and other grouse pestering her
farmers and laborers. While assuming to fix bag limits that will be of
some benefit to those species, the limit is distinctly off, and nothing
short of a quick and drastic reform will save a remnant that will remain
visible to the naked eye.
NEW BRUNSWICK.--This is the banner province in the protection of moose,
caribou and deer, even while permitting them to be shot for sport. Of
course, only males are killed, and I am assured by competent judges that
thus far the killing of the finest and largest male moose has had no bad
effect upon the stature or antlers of the species as a whole.
NOVA SCOTIA.--If there is anything wrong with the game laws of Nova
Scotia, it lies in the wide-open sale of moose meat and all kinds of
feathered game during the open season. If that province were more
heavily populated, it would mean a great destruction of game. Even with
conditions as they are, the sale permitted is entirely wrong, and
against the best interests of 97 per cent of the people.
As previously mentioned, the law against the waste of moose meat is both
novel and admirable. The saving of any considerable portion of the flesh
of a full-grown bull moose, along with its head, is a large order; but
it is right. The degree of accountability to which guides are held for
the doings of the men whom they pilot into the woods is entirely
commendable, and worthy of imitation. If a sportsman or gunner does the
wrong thing, the guide loses his license.
SASKATCHEWAN.--This is another of the too-liberal provinces having no
real surplus of big game with which to sustain for any length of time an
excess of generosity. I am told that in this province there is now a
great deal of open country around each wild animal. And yet, it
cheerfully offers two moose, two elk, two caribou and two _antelope_ per
season to each licensed gunner or sportsman. The limit is too generous
by half. Why throw away an extra $250 worth of game with each license?
That is precisely what the people of Saskatchewan are doing to-day.
And that antelope-killing! It should be stopped at once, and for ten
YUKON.--This province permits the sale of all the finest and best wild
game within its borders,--moose, elk, caribou, _bison_, musk-ox, sheep
and goats! The flesh of all these may be sold during the open season,
and for sixty days thereafter. Of the species named above, the barren
ground caribou is the only one regarding which we need not worry;
because that species still exists in millions. The Osborn caribou
(_Rangifer osborni_), can be exterminated in our own times, because it is
nowhere really numerous, and it inhabits exposed situations.
* * * * *
PRIVATE GAME PRESERVES
Primarily, in the early days of the Man-on-Horseback, the self-elected
and predatory lords of creation evolved the private game preserve as a
scheme for preventing other fellows from shooting, and for keeping the
game sacred to slaughter by themselves. The idea of conserving the game
was a fourth-rate consideration, the first being the estoppel of the
other man. The old-world owner of a game preserve delights in the annual
killing of the surplus game, and we have even heard it whispered that in
the Dark Ages there were kings who enjoyed the wholesale slaughter of
deer, wild boar, pheasants and grouse. If we may accept as true the
history of sport in Europe, there have been men who have loved slaughter
with a genuine blood-lust that is quite foreign to the real
In America, the impulse is different. Here, there is raging a genuine
fever for private game preserves. Some of those already existing are of
fine proportions, and cost fortunes to create. Every true sportsman who
is rich enough to own a private game preserve, sooner or later acquires
one. You will find them scattered throughout the temperate zone of North
America from the Bay of Fundy to San Diego. I have had invitations to
visit preserves in an unbroken chain from the farthest corner of Quebec
to the Pacific Coast, and from Grand Island, Lake Superior to the Gulf
of Mexico. It was not necessarily to hunt, and kill something, but to
_see_ the game, and the beauties of nature.
The wealthy American and Canadian joyously buys a tract of wilderness,
fences it, stocks it with game both great and small, and provides game
keepers for all the year round. At first he has an idea that he will
"hunt" therein, and that his guests will hunt also, and actually kill
game. In a mild way, this fiction sometimes is maintained for years. The
owner may each year shoot two or three head of his surplus big game, and
his tenderfoot guests who don't know what real hunting is may also kill
something, each year. But in most of the American preserves with which I
am well acquainted, the gentlemanly "sport" of "hunting big game" is
almost a joke. The trouble is, usually, the owner becomes so attached to
his big game, and admires it so sincerely, he has not the heart to kill
it himself; and he finds no joy whatever in seeing it shot down by
In this country the slaughter of game for the market is not considered a
gentlemanly pastime, even though there is a surplus of preserve-bred
game that must be reduced. To the average American, the slaughter of
half-tame elk, deer and birds that have been bred in a preserve does not
appeal in the least. He knows that in the protection of a preserve, the
wild creatures lose much of their fear of man, and become easy marks;
and shall a real sportsman go out with a gun and a bushel of cartridges,
on a pony, and without warning betray the confidence of the wild in
terms of fire and blood? Others may do it if they like; but as a rule
that is not what an American calls "sport." One wide-awake and
well-armed grizzly bear or mountain sheep outwitted on a mountain-side
is worth more as a sporting proposition than a quarter of a mile of deer
carcasses laid out side by side on a nice park lawn to be photographed
as "one day's kill."
In America, the shooting of driven game is something of which we know
little save by hearsay. In Europe, it is practiced on everything from
Scotch grouse to Italian ibex. The German Crown Prince, in his
fascinating little volume "From My Hunting Day-Book," very neatly fixes
the value of such shooting, as a real sportsman's proposition, in the
"The shooting of driven game is merely a question of marksmanship, and
is after all more in the nature of a shooting exercise than sport."
I have seen some shooting in preserves that was too tame to be called
sport; but on the other hand I can testify that in grouse shooting as it
is done behind the dogs on Mr. Carnegie's moor at Skibo, it is sport in
which the hunter earns every grouse that falls to his gun. At the same
time, also, I believe that the shooting of madly running ibex, as it is
done by the King of Italy in his three mountain preserves, is
sufficiently difficult to put the best big-game hunter to the test.
There are times when shooting driven game calls for far more dexterity
with the rifle than is ordinarily demanded in the still-hunt.
In America, as in England and on the Continent of Europe, private game
preserves are so numerous it is impossible to mention more than a very
few of them, unless one devotes a volume to the subject. Probably there
are more than five hundred, and no list of them is "up to date" for more
than one day, because the number is constantly increasing. I make no
pretense even of possessing a list of those in America, and I mention
only a few of those with which I am best acquainted, by way of
One of the earliest and the most celebrated deer parks of the United
States was that of Hon. John Dean Caton, of two hundred acres, located
near Ottawa, Ill., established about 1859. It was the experiments and
observations made in that park that yielded Judge Caton's justly famous
book on "The Antelope and Deer of America."
The first game preserve established by an incorporated club was
"Blooming Grove Park," of one thousand acres, in Pennsylvania, where
great success has been attained in the breeding and rearing of
In the eastern United States the most widely-known game preserve is Blue
Mountain Forest Park, near Newport, New Hampshire. It was founded in
1885, by the late Austin Corbin, and has been loyally and diligently
maintained by Austin Corbin, Jr., George S. Edgell and the other members
of the Corbin family. Ownership is vested in the Blue Mountain Forest
Association. The area of the preserve is 27,000 acres, and besides
embracing much fine forest on Croydon Mountain, it also contains many
converted farms whose meadow lands afford good grazing.
This preserve contains a large herd of bison (86 head), elk,
white-tailed deer, wild boar and much smaller game. The annual surplus
of bison and other large game is regularly sold and distributed
throughout the world for the stocking of other parks and zoological
gardens. Each year a few surplus deer are quietly killed for the Boston
market, but a far greater number are sold alive, at from $25 to $30 each
in carload lots.
In the Adirondacks of northern New York, there are a great many private
game preserves. Dr. T.S. Palmer, in his pamphlet on "Private Game
Preserves" (Department of Agriculture) places the number at 60, and
their total area at 791,208 acres. Some of them have caused much
irritation among some of the hunting, fishing and trapping residents of
the Adirondack region. They seem to resent the idea of the exclusive
ownership of lands that are good hunting-grounds. This view of property
rights has caused much trouble and some bloodshed, two persons having
been killed for presuming to assert exclusive rights in large tracts of
"In the upland preserve under private ownership." says Dr. Palmer, "may
be found one of the most important factors in the maintenance of the
future supply of game and game birds. Nearly all such preserves are
maintained for the propagation of deer, quail, grouse, or pheasants.
They vary widely in area, character, and purpose, and embrace some of
the largest game refuges in the country. Some of the preserves in North
Carolina cover from 15,000 to 30,000 acres; several in South Carolina
exceed 60,000 acres in extent." The Megantic Club's northern preserve,
on the boundary between Quebec and Maine, embraces nearly 200 square
miles, or upward of 125,000 acres.
Comparatively few of the larger preserves are enclosed, and on such
grounds, hunting becomes sport quite as genuine as it is in regions open
to free hunting. In some instances part of the tract is fenced, while
large unenclosed areas are protected by being posted. The character of
their tenure varies also. Some are owned in fee simple; others,
particularly the larger ones, are leased, or else comprise merely the
shooting rights on the land. In both size and tenure, the upland
preserves of the United States are comparable with the grouse moors and
large deer forests of Scotland.
Of the game preserves in the South, I know one that is quite ideal. It
is St. Vincent Island, near Apalachicola, Florida, in the northern edge
of the Gulf of Mexico. It was purchased in 1909 by Dr. Ray V. Pierce,
and his guests kill perhaps one hundred ducks each year out of the
thousands that flock to the ten big ponds that occupy the eastern third
of the island. Into those ponds much good duck food has been
introduced,--_Potamogeton pectinatus_ and _perfoliatus_. The area of
the island is twenty square miles. Besides being a great winter resort
for ducks, its sandy, pine-covered ridges and jungles of palms to and
live oak afford fine haunts and feeding grounds for deer. Those jungles
contain two species of white-tailed deer (_Odocoileus louisiana_ and
_osceola_), and Dr. Pierce has introduced the Indian sambar deer and
Japanese sika deer _(Cervus sika_), both of which are doing well. We are
watching the progress of those big sambar deer with very keen interest,
and it is to be recorded that already that species has crossed with the
Louisiana white-tailed deer.
[Illustration: MAP OF MARSH ISLAND AND ADJACENT WILD-FOWL PRESERVES]
During the autumn of 1912, public attention in the United States was for
a time focused on the purchase of Marsh Island, Louisiana, by Mrs.
Russell Sage, and its permanent dedication to the cause of wild-life
protection. This delightful event has brought into notice the Louisiana
State Game Preserve of 13,000 acres near Marsh Island, and its
hinterland (and water) of 11,000 acres adjoining, which constitutes the
Ward-McIlhenny Wild Fowl Preserve. These three great preserves taken
together as they lie form a wild-fowl sanctuary of great size, and of
great value to the whole Mississippi Valley. Now that all duck-shooting
therein has been stopped, it is safe to predict that they shortly will
be inhabited by a wild-fowl population that will really stagger the
DUCK-SHOOTING "PRESERVES."--A ducking "preserve" is a large tract of
land and water owned by a few individuals, or a club, for the purpose of
preserving exclusively for themselves and their friends the best
possible opportunities for killing large numbers of ducks and geese
without interference. In no sense whatever are they intended to preserve
or increase the supply of wild fowl. The real object of their existence
is duck and goose slaughter. For example, the worst goose-slaughter
story on record comes to us from the grounds of the Glenn County Club in
California, whereon, as stated elsewhere, two men armed with automatic
shotguns killed 218 geese in one hour, and bagged a total of 452 in one
I shall not attempt to give any list of the so-called ducking
"preserves." The word "preserve," when applied to them, is a misnomer.
Thirteen states have these incorporated slaughtering-grounds for ducks
and geese, the greatest number being in California, Illinois, North
Carolina and Virginia. California has carried the ducking-club idea to
the limit where it is claimed that it constitutes an abuse. Dr. Palmer
says that one or two of the club preserves on the western side of the
San Joaquin Valley contain upward of _40 square miles, or 25,000 acres
each_! With considerable asperity it is now publicly charged (in the
columns of _The Examiner_ of San Francisco) that for the unattached
sportsmen there is no longer any duck-shooting to be had in California,
because all the good ducking-grounds are owned and exclusively
controlled by clubs. In many states the private game preserves are a
source of great irritation, and many have been attacked in courts of
[Footnote N: "Private Game Preserves and their Future in the United
States," by T.S. Palmer, United States Department of Agriculture, 1910.]
But I am not sorrowing over the woes of the unattached duck-hunter, or
in the least inclined to champion his cause against the ducking-club
member. As slaughterers and exterminators of wild-fowl, rarely
exercising mercy under ridiculous bag-limits, they have both been too
heedless of the future, and one is just as bad for the game as the
other. If either of them favored the game, I would be on his side; but I
see no difference between them. They both kill right up to the
bag-limit, as often as they can; and that is what is sweeping away all
our feathered game.
Curiously enough, the angry unattached duck-hunters of California are
to-day proposing to have revenge on the duck-clubbers by _removing all
restrictions on the sale of game_! This is on the theory that the
duckless sportsmen of the State of California would like to _buy_ dead
ducks and geese for their tables! It is a novel and original theory, but
the sane people of California never will enact it into law. It would be
a step just _twenty years backward_!
THE PUBLIC vs. THE PRIVATE GAME PRESERVE.--Both the executive and the
judiciary branches of our state governments will in the future be called
upon with increasing frequency to sit in judgment on this case.
Conditions about us are rapidly changing. The precepts of yesterday may
be out of date and worthless tomorrow. By way of introspection, let us
see what principles of equity toward Man and Nature we would lay down as
the basis of our action if we were called to the bench. Named in logical
sequence they would be about as follows:
1. Any private game "preserve" that is maintained chiefly as a
slaughter-ground for wild game, either birds or mammals, may become
detrimental to the interests of the people at large.
[Illustration: EGRETS AND HERONS IN SANCTUARY ON MARSH ISLAND]
2. It is not necessarily the duty of any state to provide for the
maintenance of private death-traps for the wholesale slaughter of
3. An oppressive monopoly in the slaughter of migratory game is
detrimental to the interests of the public at large, the same as any
4. Every de facto game preserve, maintained for the preservation of wild
life rather than for its slaughter, is an institution beneficial to the
public at large, and therefore entitled to legal rights and privileges
above and beyond all which may rightly be accorded to the so-called
"preserves" that are maintained as killing-grounds.
5. The law may justly discriminate between the actual game preserve and
the mere killing-ground.
6. Whenever a killing-ground becomes a public burden, it may be abated,
the same as any other public infliction.
In private game preserves the time has arrived when lawmakers and judges
must begin to apply the blood-test, and separate the true from the
false. And at every step, _the welfare of the wild life involved_ must
be given full consideration. No men, nor body of men, should be
permitted to practice methods that spell extermination.
* * * * *
BRITISH GAME PRESERVES IN AFRICA AND AUSTRALIA
This brief chapter is offered as an object-lesson to the world at large.
In the early days of America, the founders of our states and territories
gave little heed, or none at all, to the preservation of wild life. Even
if they thought of that duty, undoubtedly they felt that the game would
always last, and that they had no time for such sentimental side issues
as the making of game preserves. They were coping with troubles and
perplexities of many kinds, and it is not to be wondered at that up to
forty years ago, real game protection in America went chiefly by
In South Africa, precisely the same conditions have prevailed until
recent times. The early colonists were kept so busy shooting lions and
making farms that not one game preserve was made. If any men can be
excused from the work and worry of preserving game, and making
preserves, it is those who spend their lives pioneering and
state-building in countries like Africa. Men who continually have to
contend with disease, bad food, rains, insect pests, dangerous wild
beasts and native cussedness may well claim that they have troubles
enough, without going far into campaigns to preserve wild animals in
countries where animals are plentiful and cheap. It is for this reason
that the people of Alaska can not be relied upon to preserve the Alaskan
game. They are busy with other things that are of more importance to
In May, 1900, representatives of the great powers owning territory in
Africa held a conference in the interests of the wild-animal life of
that continent. As a result a Convention was signed by which those
powers bound themselves "to make provision for the prevention of further
undue destruction of wild game." The principles laid down for universal
observance were as follows:
1. Sparing of females and immature animals.
2. The establishment of close seasons and game sanctuaries.
3. Absolute protection of rare species.
4. Restrictions on export for trading purposes of skins, horns,
5. Prohibition of the use of pits, snares and game traps.
The brave and hardy men who are making for the British people a grand
empire in Africa probably are greater men than far-distant people
realize. To them, the white man's burden of game preservation is
accepted as all in the day's work. A mere handful of British civil
officers, strongly aided by the Society for the Preservation of the
Fauna of the British Empire, have carved out and set aside a great chain
of game preserves reaching all the way from Swaziland and the Transvaal
to Khartoum. Taken either collectively or separately, it represents
grand work, characteristic of the greatest colonizers on earth. Those
preserves are worthy stones in the foundation of what one day will be a
great British empire in Africa. The names of the men who proposed them
and wrought them out should, in some way, be imperishably connected with
them as their founders, as the least reward that Posterity can bestow.
In Major J. Stevenson-Hamilton's fine work, "Animal Life in Africa,"[O]
the author has been at much pains to publish an excellent series of maps
showing the locations of the various British game preserves in Africa,
and the map published herewith has been based chiefly on that work. It
is indeed fortunate for the wild life of Africa that it has today so
powerful a champion and exponent as this author, the warden of the
Transvaal Game Preserves.
[Footnote O: Published by Heinemann, London, 1912.]
Events move so rapidly that up to this date no one, so far as I am
aware, has paused long enough to make and publish an annotated list of
the African game preserves. Herein I have attempted to _begin_ that task
myself, and I regret that at this distance it is impossible for me to
set down under the several titles the names of the men who made these
preserves possible, and actually founded them.
To thoughtful Americans I particularly commend this list as a showing of
the work of men who have not waited until the game had been _practically
exterminated_ before creating sanctuaries in which to preserve it. In
view of these results, how trivial and small of soul seems the mercenary
efforts of the organized wool-growers of Montana to thwart our plan to
secure a paltry fifteen square miles of grass lands for the rugged and
arid Snow Creek Antelope Preserve that is intended to help save a
valuable species from quick extermination.
At this point I must quote the views of a high authority on the status
of wild life and game preserves in Africa. The following is from Major
"It is a remarkable phenomenon in human affairs how seldom the
experience of others seems to turn the scale of action. There are, I
take it, very few farmers, in the Cape Colony, the Orange Free State, or
the Transvaal, who would not be glad to see an adequate supply of game
upon their land. Indeed, the writer is constantly dealing with
applications as to the possibility of reintroducing various species from
the game reserves to private farms, and only the question of expense and
the difficulty of transport have, up to the present, prevented this
being done on a considerable scale. When, therefore, the relatively
small populations of such protectorates as are still well stocked with
game are heard airily discussing the advisability of getting rid of it
as quickly as possible, one realizes how often vain are the teachings of
history, and how well-nigh hopeless it is to quote the result of similar
action elsewhere. It remains only to trust that things may be seen in
truer perspective ere it is too late, and that those in whose temporary
charge it is may not cast recklessly away one of nature's most splendid
assets, one, moreover, which once lightly discarded, can never by any
possibility, be regained.
[Illustration: THE MOST IMPORTANT GAME PRESERVES OF AFRICA
The Numbers Refer to Corresponding Numbers in the Text]
"It is idle to say that the advance of civilization must necessarily
mean the total disappearance of all wild animals. This is one of those
glib fallacies which flows only too readily from unthinking lips.
Civilization in its full sense--not the advent of a few scattered
pioneers--of course, implies their restriction, especially as regards
purely grass-feeding species, within certain definite bounds, both as
regards numbers and sanctuaries. But this is a very different thing from
wholesale destruction, that a few more or less deserving individuals may
receive some small pecuniary benefit, or gratify their taste for
slaughter to the detriment of everyone else who may come after. _The
fauna of an empire is the property of that empire as a whole, and not of
the small portion of it where the animals may happen to exist; and while
full justice and encouragement must be given to the farmer and pioneer,
neither should be permitted to entirely demolish for his own advantage
resources which, strictly speaking, are not his own_."--("Animal Life in
Africa." p. 24.)
* * * * *
AFRICAN GAME PRESERVES
BRITISH EAST AFRICA:
1.[P] _The Athi Plains Preserve_.--This is situated between the Uganda
Railway and the boundary of German East Africa. Its northern boundary is
one mile north of the railway track. It is about 215 miles long east and
west by 105 miles from north to south, and its area is about 13,000
square miles. It is truly a great preserve, and worthy of the plains
fauna that it is specially intended to perpetuate.
[Footnote P: These numbers refer to corresponding numbers on the map of
2. _The Jubaland Preserve_.--This preserve lies northwest of Mount
Kenia. Its southwestern corner is near Lake Baringo, the Laikipia
Escarpment is its western boundary up to Mt. Nyiro, and from that point
its northern boundary runs 225 miles to Marsabit Lake. From that point
the boundary runs south-by-west to the Guaso Nyiro River, which forms
the eastern half of the southern boundary. Its total area appears to be
about 13,000 square miles.
In addition to the two great preserves described above the government of
British East Africa has established on the Uasin Gishu Plateau a
centrally located sanctuary for elands, roan antelopes and hippopotamii.
There is also a small special rhinoceros preserve about fifty miles
southeastward of Nairobi, around Kiu station, on the railway.
3. A great nameless sanctuary for wild life exists on the eastern bank
of the Nile, comprising the whole territory between the main stream, the
Blue Nile and Abyssinia. Its length (north and south) is 215 miles, and
its width is about 125 miles; which means a total area of about 26,875
square miles. Natives and others living within this sanctuary may hunt
therein--if they can procure licenses.
4. _Hargeis Reserve_, about 1,800 square miles.
5. _Mirso Reserve_, about 300 square miles.
6. _Budonga Forest Reserve_.--This small reserve embraces the whole
eastern shore and hinterland of Lake Albert Nyanza, and is shaped like a
7. _Toro Reserve_.--This small reserve lies between Lakes Albert Nyanza
and Albert Edward Nyanza, touching both.
NYASALAND, OR THE BRITISH CENTRAL AFRICA PROTECTORATE.--A small
territory, but remarkably well stocked with game.
8. _Elephant Marsh Preserve_.--A small area in the extreme southern end
of the Protectorate, on both sides of the Shire River, chiefly for
9. _Angoniland Reserve_.--This was created especially to preserve about
one thousand elephants. It is forty miles west of the southwestern arm
of Lake Nyasa.
10. _Sabi-Singwitza-Pongola Preserve_.--This great preserve occupies the
whole region between the Drakenberg Mountains and the Lebombo Hills. Its
total area is about 10,500 square miles. It lies in a compact block
about 210 miles long by 50 miles wide, along the Portuguese border.
11. _Rustenburg Reserve_.--This is situated at the head of the Limpopo
River, and covers about 3,500 square miles.
12. _The Swaziland Reserve_ contains about 1,750 square miles, and
occupies the southwestern corner of Swaziland.
13. _The Nweru Marsh Game Reserve_ is in northwestern Rhodesia,
bordering the Congo Free State. The description of its local boundaries
is quite unintelligible outside of Rhodesia.
_Luangwa Reserve_.--The locality of this reserve cannot be determined
from the official description, which gives no clue to its shape or size.
* * * * *
GAME PRESERVES IN AUSTRALASIA
_Little Barrier Island_ in the north, and _Resolution Island_, in the
south; and concerning both, details are lacking.
_Kangaroo Island_, near Adelaide, South Australia, is 400 miles
northwest of Melbourne. Of the total area of this rather large island of
300 square miles, 140 square miles have been set aside as a game
preserve, chiefly for the preservation of the mallee bird (_Lipoa
occelata_). It is believed that eventually the whole island will become
a wild-life sanctuary, and it would seem that this can not be
consummated a day too soon for the vanishing wild life.
_Wilson's Promontory_. Adelaide, is a peninsula well suited to the
preservation of wild life, especially birds, and it is now a sanctuary.
Many private bird refuges have been created in Australia.
_Eleven Bird Refuges_ have been created, with a total area of 26,000
acres,--an excellent record for Tasmania!
_Freycinet's Peninsula_.--At present this wild-life sanctuary is not
adequately protected from illicit hunting and trapping; but its full
protection is now demanded, and no doubt this soon will be provided by
the government. I am informed that this offers a golden opportunity to
secure a fine wild-life sanctuary at ridiculously small cost to the
public. The whole world is interested in the preservation of the
remarkable fauna of Tasmania. The extermination of the thylacine would
be a zoological calamity; but it is impending.
* * * * *
BREEDING GAME AND FUR IN CAPTIVITY
GAME BREEDING.--The breeding of game in captivity for sale in the
markets of the world is just as legitimate as the breeding of domestic
species. This applies equally to mammals, birds, reptiles and fishes. It
is the duty of the nation and the state to foster such industries and
facilitate the marketing of their products without any unnecessary
formalities, delays or losses to producers or to purchasers.
Already this principle has been established in several states. Without
going into the records, it is safe to say that Colorado was the pioneer
in the so-called "more-game" movement, about 1899; but there is one
person who would like to have the world believe that it started in the
state of New York, about 1909. The idea is not quite as "old as the
hills," but the application of it in the United States dates back
through a considerable vista of years.
The laws of Colorado providing for the creation of private game
preserves and the marketing of their product under a tagging system, are
very elaborate, and they show a sincere desire to foster an industry as
yet but slightly developed in this country. The laws of New York are
much more simple and easy to understand than those of Colorado.
There is one important principle now fully recognized in the New York
laws for game breeding that other states will do well to adopt. It is
the fact that certain kinds of wild game _can not be bred and reared in
captivity on a commercial basis_; and this being true, it is clearly
against public policy to provide for the sale of any such species. Why
provide for the sale of preserve-bred grouse and ducks which we know can
not be bred and reared in confinement in marketable numbers? For
example, if we may judge by the numerous experiments that _thus far_
have been made,--as we certainly have a right to do,--no man can
successfully breed and rear in captivity, on a commercial basis, the
canvasback duck, teal, pintail duck, ruffed grouse or quail. This being
the case, no amount of clamor from game dealers and their allies ever
should induce any state legislature to provide for the sale of any of
those species _until it has been fully demonstrated_ that they _have
been_ and _can be_ bred in captivity in large numbers. The moment the
markets of a state are thrown open to these impossible species, from
that moment the state game wardens must make a continuous struggle to
prevent the importation and sale of those birds contrary to law. This
proposition is so simple that every honest man can see it.
All that any state legislature may rightfully be asked to do is to
provide for the sale, under tags, of those species which _we know_ can
be bred in captivity in large numbers.
When the Bayne law was drafted, its authors considered with the utmost
care the possibilities in the breeding of game in the United States on a
commercial basis. It was found that as yet only two wild native species
have been, and can be, reared in captivity on a large scale. These are
the white-tailed deer and mallard duck. Of foreign species we can breed
successfully for market the fallow deer, red deer of Europe and some of
the pheasants of the old world. For the rearing, killing and marketing
of all these, the Bayne law provides the simplest processes of state
supervision that the best game protectors and game breeders of New York
could devise. The tagging system is expeditious, cheap and effective.
Practically the only real concession that is required of the
game-breeder concerns the killing, which must be done in a systematic
way, whereby a state game warden can visit the breeder's premises and
affix the tags without any serious sacrifice of time or convenience on
either side. The tags cost the breeder five cents each, and they pay the
cost of the services rendered by the state.
By this admirable system, which is very plainly set forth in the New
York Conservation Commission's book of game laws, all the _wild_ game of
New York, _and of every other state_, is absolutely protected at all
times against illegal killing and illegal importation for the New York
market. Now, is it not the duty of Connecticut, Maryland, Virginia, the
Carolinas and every other state to return our compliment by passing
similar laws? Massachusetts came up to public expectations at the next
session of her legislature after the passage of our Bayne law. In 1913,
California will try to secure a similar act; and we know full well that
her ducks, geese, quail, grouse and band-tailed pigeon need it very
much. If the California protectors of wild life succeed in arousing the
great quiet mass of people in that state, their Bayne bill will be swept
through their legislature on a tidal wave of popular sentiment.
_Elk_.--For people who own wild woodlands near large cities there are
good profits to be made in rearing white-tailed deer for the market. I
would also mention elk, but for the fact that every man who rears a fine
herd of elk quickly becomes so proud of the animals, and so much
attached to them, that he can not bear to have them shot and butchered
for market! Elk are just as easy to breed and rear as domestic cattle,
except that in the fall breeding season, the fighting of rival bulls
demands careful and intelligent management. Concerning the possibilities
of feeding elk on hay at $25 per ton and declaring an annual profit, I
am not informed. If the elk require to be fed all the year round, the
high price of hay and grain might easily render it impossible to produce
marketable three-year-old animals at a profit.
_White-tailed Deer_.--Any one who owns from one hundred to one thousand
acres of wild, brushy or forest-covered land can raise white-tailed (or
Virginia) deer at a profit. With smaller areas of land, free range
becomes impossible, and the prospects of commercial profits diminish
and disappear. In any event, a fenced range is absolutely essential; and
the best fence is the Page, 88 inches high, all horizontals of No. 9
wire, top and bottom wires of No. 7, and the perpendicular tie-wires of
No. 12. This fence will hold deer, elk, bison and wild horses. In large
enclosures, the white-tailed deer is hardy and prolific, and when fairly
cooked its flesh is a great delicacy. In Vermont the average weights of
the deer killed in that state in various years have been as follow:--in
1902, 171 lbs.; in 1903, 190 lbs.; in 1905, 198 lbs.; in 1906, 200 lbs.;
in 1907, 196 lbs.; in 1908, 207 lbs.; and in 1909, 155 lbs. The reason
for the great drop in 1909 is yet to be ascertained.
In 1910, in New York City the wholesale price of whole deer carcasses
was from 22 to 25 cents per pound. Venison saddles were worth from 30 to
35 cents per pound. On the bill of fare of a first class hotel, a
portion of venison costs from $1.50 to $2.50 according to the diner's
location. It is probable that such prices as these will prevail only in
the largest cities, and therefore they must not be regarded as general.
Live white-tailed deer can be purchased for breeding purposes at prices
ranging from $25 to $35 each. A good eastern source of supply is Blue
Mountain Forest, Mr. Austin Corbin, president (Broadway and Cortlandt
St., New York). In the West, good stock can be procured from the
Cleveland-Cliffs Iron Company, through C.V.R. Townsend, Negaunee, Mich.,
whose preserve occupies the whole of Grand Island, Lake Superior.
The Department of Agriculture has published for free distribution a
pamphlet entitled "Raising Deer and Other Large Game Animals" in the
United States, by David E. Lantz, which contains much valuable
information, although it leaves much unsaid.
All breeders of deer are cautioned that during the fall and early winter
months, all adult white-tailed bucks are dangerous to man, and should be
treated accordingly. A measure of safety can be secured in a large park
by compelling the deer always to keep at a respectful distance, and
making no "pets," whatever. Whenever a buck finds his horns and loses
his fear of man, climb the fence quickly. Bucks in the rutting season
sometimes seem to go crazy, and often they attack men, wantonly and
dangerously. The method of attack is to an unarmed man almost
irresistible. The animal lowers his head, stiffens his neck and with
terrible force drives straight forward for your stomach and bowels.
Usually there are eight sharp spears of bone to impale you. The best
defense of an unarmed man is to seize the left antler with the left
hand, and with the right hand pull the deer's right front foot from
under him. Merely holding to the horns makes great sport for the deer.
He loves that unequal combat. The great desideratum is to put his fore
legs out of commission, and get him down on his knees.
Does are sometimes dangerous, and inflict serious damage by rising on
their hind feet and viciously striking with their sharp front hoofs.
These tendencies in American deer are mentioned here as a duty to
persons who may desire to breed deer for profit.
_The Red Deer of Europe_.--Anyone who has plenty of natural forest food
for deer and a good market within fair range, may find the European red
deer a desirable species. It is of size smaller, and more easily
managed, than the wapiti; and is more easily marketed because of its
smaller size. As a species it is hardy and prolific, and of course its
venison is as good as that of any other deer. Live specimens for
stocking purposes can be purchased of S.A. Stephan, Agent for Carl
Hagenbeck, Cincinnati Zoological Gardens, or of Wenz & Mackensen,
Yardley, Pa., at prices ranging from $60 to $100 each, according to size
and age. At present the supply of specimens in this country on hand for
sale is very small.
_The Fallow Deer_.--This species is the most universal park deer of
Europe. It seems to be invulnerable to neglect and misuse, for it has
persisted through countless generations of breeding in captivity, and
the abuse of all nations. In size it is a trifle smaller than our
white-tailed deer, with spots in summer, and horns that are widely
flattened at the extremities in a very interesting way. It is very hardy
and prolific, but of course it can not stand everything that could be
put upon it. It needs a dry shed in winter, red clover hay and crushed
oats for winter food; and no deer should be kept in mud. As a commercial
proposition it is not so meaty as the white-tail, but it is _less
troublesome to keep_. The adult males are not such vicious or dangerous
fighters as white-tail bucks. Live specimens are worth from $50 to $75.
The Essex County Park Commissioners (Orange, New Jersey) have had
excellent success with this species. In 1906 they purchased twenty-five
does and four bucks and placed them in an enclosure of 150 acres, on a
wooded mountain-side. In 1912 they had 150 deer, and were obliged to
take measures for a disposal of the surplus. Messrs. Wenz & Mackensen,
keep an almost continuous supply of fallow deer on hand for sale.
_The Indian Sambar Deer_.--I have long advocated the introduction in the
southern states, _wherever deer can be protected_, of this great,
hulking, animated venison-factory. While I have not delved deeply into
the subject of weight and growth, I feel sure from casual observations
of the growth of about twenty-five animals that this species produces
more venison during the first two years of its life than any other deer
with which I am acquainted. I regard it as the greatest venison-producer
of the whole Deer Family; and I know that is a large order. The size of
a yearling is almost absurd, it is so great for an animal of tender
years. When adult, the species is for its height very large and heavy.
As a food-producing animal, located in the southern hill forests and
taking care of itself, "there's millions in it!" But _it must be kept
under fence_; for in no southern (or northern) state would any such mass
of juicy wild meat long be permitted to roam at large unkilled. Through
this species I believe that a million acres of southern timber lands,
now useless except for timber growth, could be made very productive in
choice venison. The price would be,--a good fence, and protection from
The Indian sambar deer looks like a short-legged big-bodied understudy
of our American elk. It breeds well in captivity, and it is of quiet
and tractable disposition. It can not live in a country where the
temperature goes down to 25 degrees F. and _remains there for long
periods_. It would, I am firmly convinced, do well all along the Gulf
coast, and if acclimatized along the Gulf, with the lapse of time and
generations it would become more and more hardy, grow more hair, and
push its way northward, until it reached the latitude of Tennessee. But
then, in a wild state it could not be protected from poachers. As stated
elsewhere, Dr. Ray V. Pierce has successfully acclimatized and bred this
species in his St. Vincent Island game preserve, near Apalachicola,
Florida. More than that, the species has crossed with the white-tailed
deer of the Island.
Living specimen of the Indian Sambar deer are worth from $125 to $250,
according to size and other conditions. Just at present it seems
difficult for Americans to procure a sufficient number of _males!_ We
have had very bad luck with several males that we attempted to import
for breeding purposes.
_The Mallard Duck_.--A great many persons have made persistent attempts
to breed the canvasback, redhead, mallard, black duck, pintail, teal and
other species, on a commercial basis. So far as I am aware the mallard
is the only wild duck that has been bred in sufficient numbers to
slaughter for the markets. The wood duck and mandarin can be bred in
fair numbers, but only sufficient to supply the demand for _living_
birds, for park purposes. One would naturally suppose that a species as
closely allied to the mallard as the black duck _is_ known to be, would
breed like the mallard; but the black duck is so timid and nervous about
nesting as to be almost worthless in captivity. All the species named
above, except the mallard, must at present, and in general, be regarded
as failures in breeding for the market.
Of all American ducks the common mallard is the most persistent and
successful breeder. It quickly becomes accustomed to captivity, it
enjoys park life, and when given even half a chance it will breed and
rear its young.
Unquestionably, the mallard duck can be reared in captivity in numbers
limited only by the extent of breeder's facilities. The amount of net
profit that can be realized depends wholly upon the business acumen and
judgment displayed in the management of the flock. The total amount of
knowledge necessary to success is not so very great, but at the same
time, the exercise of a fair amount of intelligence, and also careful
diligence, is absolutely necessary. Naturally the care and food of the
flock must not cost extravagantly, or the profits will inevitably
As a contribution to the cause of game-breeding for the market, and the
creation of a new industry of value, Mr. L.S. Crandall and the author
wrote for the New York State Conservation Commission a pamphlet on
"Breeding Mallard Ducks for Market." Copies of it can be procured of our
State Conservation Commission at Albany, by enclosing ten cents in
* * * * *
BREEDING FUR-BEARING ANIMALS
When hundreds of persons wrote to me asking for literature on the
breeding of fur-bearing animals for profit, for ten years I was
compelled to tell them that there was no such literature. During the
past three years a few offerings have been made, and I lose not a moment
in listing them here.
"_Life Histories of Northern Animals_", by Ernest T. Seton (Charles
Scribner's Sons, 2 volumes, $18), contains carefully written and
valuable chapters on fox farming, skunk farming, marten farming, and
mink farming, and other valuable life histories of the fur-bearing
animals of North America.
_Rod and Gun in Canada_, a magazine for sportsmen published by W.J.
Taylor, Woodstock, Ontario, contained in 1912 a series of articles on
"The Culture of Black and Silver Foxes," by R.B. and L.V. Croft.
_Country Life in America_ has published a number of illustrated articles
on fox and skunk farming.
With its usual enterprise and forethought, the Biological Survey of the
Department of Agriculture has published a valuable pamphlet of 22 pages
on "Silver Fox Farming," by Wilfred H. Osgood, copies of which can be
procured by addressing the Secretary of Agriculture. In consulting that
contribution, however, it must be borne in mind that just now, in fox
farming, history is being made more rapidly than heretofore.
I do not mean to say that the above are the only sources of information
on fur-farming for profit, but they are the ones that have most
impressed me. The files of all the journals and magazines for sportsmen
contain numerous articles on this subject, and they should be carefully
BLACK-FOX FARMING.--The ridiculous prices now being paid in London for
the skins of black or "silver" foxes has created in this country a small
furore over the breeding of that color-phase of the red fox. The prices
that actually have been obtained, both for skins and for live animals
for breeding purposes, have a strong tendency to make people crazy.
Fancy paying $12,000 in real money for one pair of live black foxes!
That has been done, on Prince Edward Island, and $10,000 per pair is now
regarded as a bargain-counter figure.
On Prince Edward Island, in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, black-fox breeding
has been going on for ten years, and is now on a successful basis. One
man has made a fortune in the business, and it is rumored that a stock
company is considering the purchase of his ten-acre fox ranch at a
fabulous figure. The enormous prices obtainable for live black foxes,
male or female, make diamonds and rubies seem cheap and commonplace; and
it is no wonder that enterprising men are tempted to enter that
The price of a black fox is one of the wonders of a recklessly
extravagant and whimsical age. All the fur-wearing world knows very well
that fox fur is one of the poorest of furs to withstand the wear and
tear of actual use. About two seasons' hard wear are enough to put the
best fox skin on the wane, and three or four can be guaranteed to throw
it into the discard. Even the finest black fox skin is nothing
superlatively beautiful! A choice "cross" fox skin costing only $50 _is
far more beautiful, as a color proposition_; but London joyously pays
$2,500 or $3,000 for a single black-fox skin, to wear!
Of course, all such fads as this are as ephemeral as the butterflies of
summer. The Russo-Japanese war quickly reduced the value of Alaskan blue
foxes from $30 to $18; and away went the Alaskan fox farms! A similar
twist of Fortune's fickle wheel may in any year send the black fox out
of royal favor, and remove the bottom from the business of producing it.
Let us hope, however, that the craze for that fur will continue; for we
like to see our friends and neighbors make good profits.
PHEASANT REARING.--This subject is so well understood by game-breeders,
and there is already so much good literature available regarding it, it
is not necessary that I should take it up here.
* * * * *
TEACHING WILD LIFE PROTECTION TO THE YOUNG
Thousands of busy and burdened men and women are to-day striving hard,
early and late, to promote measures that will preserve the valuable wild
life of the world. They desire to leave to the boys and girls of
tomorrow a good showing of the marvelous bird and animal forms that make
the world beautiful and interesting. They are acting on the principle
that the wild life of to-day is not ours, to destroy or to keep as we
choose, but has been given to us _in trust_, partly for our benefit and
partly for those who come after us and audit our accounts. They believe
that we have no right to squander and destroy a wild-life heritage of
priceless value which we have done nothing to create, and which is not
ours to destroy.
DUTY OF PARENTS.--This being the case, it is very necessary that the
young people of to-day should be taught, early and often, the virtue and
the necessity of wild-life protection. There is no reason that the boy
of to-day should not take up his share of the common burden, just as
soon as he is old enough to wander alone through the woods. Let him be
taught in precise terms that he must _not rob birds' nests_, and that he
_must not shoot song-birds, woodpeckers and kingfishers_ with a
22-calibre rifle, or any other gun. At this moment there lies upon my
side table a vicious little 22-calibre rifle that was taken from two
boys who were camping in the woods of Connecticut, and amusing
themselves by shooting valuable insectivorous birds. Now those boys were
not wholly to blame for what they were doing; but their fathers and
mothers were _very much to blame_! They should have been taught at the
parental knee that it is very wrong to kill any bird except a genuine
game bird, and then only in the lawful open season. Those two fathers
paid $10 each for having failed in their duty; and it served them right;
for they were the real culprits.
Small-calibre rifles are becoming alarmingly common in the hands of
boys. _Parents must do their duty in the training of their boys against
bird-shooting!_ It is a very serious matter. A million boys who roam the
fields with small rifles without having been instructed in protection,
can destroy an appalling number of valuable birds in the course of a
year. Some parents are so slavishly devoted to their children that they
wish them to do everything they please, and be checked in nothing. Such
parents constitute one of the pests of society, and a drag upon the
happiness of their own children! It is now the bounden duty of each
parent to teach each one of his or her children that the time has come
when the resources of nature, and especially wild life, must be
conserved. To permit boys to grow up and acquire guns without this
knowledge is very wrong.
THE DUTY OF TEACHERS AND SCHOOLS.--A great deal of "nature study" is
being taught in the public schools of the United States. That the young
people of our land should be taught to appreciate the works of nature,
and especially animal life and plant life, is very desirable. Thus far,
however, there is a screw loose in the system, and that is the shortage
in definite, positive instruction regarding _individual duty_ toward the
wild creatures, great and small. Along with their nature studies all our
school children should be taught, in the imperative mood:
1. That it is wrong to disturb breeding birds, or rob birds' nests;
2. That it is wrong to destroy any harmless living creature not properly
classed as game, except it be to preserve it in a museum;
3. That it is no longer right for civilized man to look upon wild game
as _necessary_ food; because there is plenty of other food, and the
remnant of game can not withstand slaughter in that basis;
4. That the time has come when it is the duty of every good citizen to
take an active, aggressive part in _preventing_ the destruction of wild
life, and in _promoting_ its preservation;
5. That every boy and girl over twelve years of age can do _something_
in this cause, and finally,
6. That protection and encouragement will bring back the almost vanished
We call upon all boards of education, all principals of schools and all
teachers to educate our boys and girls, constantly and imperatively,
along those lines. Teachers, do not say to your pupils,--"It is right
and nice to protect birds," but say:--"It is your _Duty_ to protect all
harmless wild things, and _you must do it_!"
In a good cause, there is great virtue in "Must."
Really, we are losing each year an immense amount of available wild-life
protection. The doctrine of imperative individual duty never yet has
been taught in our schools as it should be taught. A few teachers have,
indeed, covered this ground; but I am convinced that their proportion is
TEXT BOOKS.--The writers of the nature study text books are very much to
blame because nine-tenths of the time this subject has been ignored. The
situation has not been taken seriously, save in a few cases, by a very
few authors. I am glad to report that in 1912 there was published a fine
text book by Professor James W. Peabody, of the Morris High School, New
York, and Dr. Arthur E. Hunt, in which from beginning to end the duty to
protect wild life is strongly insisted upon. It is entitled "Elementary
Biology; Plants, Animals and Man."
Hereafter, no zoological or nature study text book should be given a
place in any school in America unless the author of it has done his full
share in setting forth the duty of the young citizen toward wild life.
Were I a member of a board of education I would seek to establish and
enforce this requirement. To-day, any author who will presume to write a
text book of nature study or zoology without knowing and doing his duty
toward our vanishing fauna, is too ignorant of wild life and too
careless of his duty toward it, to be accepted as a safe guide for the
young. The time for criminal indifference has gone by. Hereafter, every
one who is not for the preservation of wild life is against it and it is
time to separate the sheep from the goats.
From this time forth, the preservation of our fauna should be regarded
as a subject on which every candidate for a teacher's certificate should
undergo an examination before receiving authority to teach in a public
school. The candidate should be required to know _why_ the preservation
of birds is necessary; why the slaughter of wild life is wrong and
criminal; the extent to which wild birds and mammals return to us and
thrive under protection; why wild game is no longer a legitimate food
supply; why wild game should not be sold, and why the feathers of wild
birds (other than game birds) never should be used as millinery
As sensible Americans, and somewhat boastful of our intelligence, we
should put the education of the young in wild-life protection on a
rational business basis.
STATE EFFORTS.--In several of our states, systematic efforts to educate
children in their duty toward wild life are already being made. To this
end, an annual "Bird Day" has been established for state-wide
observance. This splendid idea is now legally in force in the following
California, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Louisiana, Minnesota, Ohio
Bird Day is also more or less regularly observed, though not legally
provided for, in New York, Indiana, Colorado and Alabama, and locally in
some cities of Pennsylvania. Usually the observance of the day is
combined with that of Arbor Day, and the date is fixed by proclamation
of the Governor.
Alabama and Wisconsin regularly issue elaborate and beautiful Arbor and
Bird Day annuals; and Illinois, and possibly other states, have issued
very good publications of this character.
THE PHILLIPS EDUCATIONAL CAMPAIGN FOR THE BIRDS.--Quite recently there
has come under my notice an episode in the education of school children
that has given the public profound satisfaction. I cite it here as an
object lesson for pan-America.
In Carrick, Pennsylvania, just across the Monongahela River from the
city of Pittsburgh, lives John M. Phillips, State Game Commissioner,
nature-lover, sportsman and friend of man. He is a man who does things,
and gets results. Goat Mountain Park (450 square miles), in British
Columbia, to-day owes its existence to him, for without his initiative
and labor it would not have been established. It was the first game
preserve of British Columbia.
Three years ago, Mr. Phillips became deeply impressed by the idea that
one of the best ways in the world to protect the wild life, both of
to-day and the future, would be in teaching school children to love it
and protect it. His fertile brain and open check-book soon devised a
method for his home city. His theory was that by giving the children
_something to do_, not only in protecting but in actually _bringing
back_ the birds, much might be accomplished.
[Illustration: BIRD DAY AT CARRICK, PA.
Marching Behind the Governor]
In studying the subject of bringing back the birds, he found that the
Russian mulberry is one of the finest trees in the world as a purveyor
of good fruit for many kinds of birds. The tree does not much resemble
our native mulberry, but is equally beautiful and interesting. "The
fruit is not a long berry, nor is it of a purple color, but it grows
from buds on the limbs and twigs something after the manner of the
pussy-willow. It is smaller, of light color and has a very distinct
flavor. The most striking peculiarity about the fruit is that it keeps
on ripening during two months or more, new berries appearing daily while
others are ripening. This is why it is such good bird food. Nor is it
half bad for folks, for the berries are good to look at and to eat,
either with cream or without, and to make pies that will set any sane
boy's mouth a-watering at sight."--(Erasmus Wilson).
Everyone knows the value of sweet cherries, both to birds and to
Mr. Phillips decided that he would give away several hundred bird boxes,
and also several hundred sweet cherry and Russian mulberry trees. The
first gift distribution was made in the early spring of 1909. Another
followed in 1910, but the last one was the most notable.
On April 11, 1912, Carrick had a great and glorious Bird Day. Mr.
Phillips was the author of it, and Governor Tener the finisher. On that
day occurred the third annual gift distribution of raw materials
designed to promote in the breasts of 2,000 children a love for birds
and an active desire to protect and increase them. Mr. Phillips gave
away 500 bird boxes, 500 sweet cherry trees and 200 mulberry trees. The
sun shone brightly, 500 flags waved in Carrick, the Governor made one of
the best speeches of his life, and Erasmus Wilson, faithful friend of
the birds, wrote this good story of the occasion for the _Gazette-Times_
The Governor was there, and the children, the bird-boxes, and the
young trees. And was there ever a brighter or more fitting day for a
children and bird jubilee! The scene was so inspiring that Gov.
Tener made one of the best speeches of his life.
The distribution of several hundred cherry and mulberry trees was
the occasion, and the beautiful grounds of the Roosevelt school,
Carrick, was the scene.
Mr. John M. Phillips, sane sportsman and enthusiastic friend of the
birds, has been looking forward to this as the culmination of a
scheme he has been working on for years, and he was more than
pleased with the outcome. The intense delight it afforded him more
than repaid him for all it has cost in all the years past.
But it was impossible to tell who were the more delighted,--he, or
the Governor, or the children, or the visitors who were so fortunate
as to be present. County Superintendent of Schools Samuel Hamilton
was simply a mass of delight. And how could he be otherwise,
surrounded as he was by 2,000 and more children fairly quivering
Children will care for and defend things that are their very own,
fight for them and stand guard over them. Realizing this Mr.
Phillips undertook to show them how they could have birds all their
own. Being clever in devising schemes for achieving things most to
be desired, he began giving out bird-boxes to those who would agree
to put them up, and to watch and defend the birds when they came to
make their homes with them. And he found that no more faithful
sentinel ever stood on guard than the boy who had a bird-house all
Here was the solution to the vexed problem. Provide boxes for those
who would agree to put them up, care for the birds, and study their
habits and needs. The children agreed at once, and the birds did not
object, so Mr. Phillips had some hundreds, four or five, blue-bird
and wren boxes constructed during the past winter. These were passed
out some weeks ago to any boys or girls who would present an order
signed by their parents, and countersigned by the principal of the
He knows enough about a boy to know that he does not prize the
things that come without effort, nor will he become deeply
interested in anything for which he is not held more or less
responsible. Hence the advantage in having him write an order, have
it indorsed by his parents, and vouched for by his school principal.
That he had struck the right scheme was proven by the avidity with
which the girls and boys rushed for the boxes. The fact that a heavy
rain was falling did not dampen their ardor for a moment, nor did
the fact that they were tramping Mr. Phillips' beautiful lawn into a
field of mud.
Mr. Phillips, seeing the necessity of providing food for the
prospective hosts of birds, and wishing to place the responsibility
on the boys and girls, offered to provide a cherry tree or mulberry
tree for every box erected, provided they should be properly planted
and diligently cared for.
This was practically the culmination of the most unique bird scheme
ever attempted, and yesterday was the day set apart for the
distribution of these hundreds of fruit trees, the products of which
are to be divided share and share alike with the birds.
Nowhere else has such a scheme been attempted, and never before has
there been just such a day of jubilee. The intense interest
manifested by the children, and the earnest enthusiasm manifested,
leaves no doubt about their carrying out their part of the contract.
[Illustration: DISTRIBUTING BIRD BOXES AND FRUIT TREES]
Up to date (1912) Mr. Phillips has given away about 1,000 bird boxes,
1,500 cherry and Russian mulberry trees, and transformed the schools of
Carrick into seething masses of children militantly enthusiastic in the
protection of birds, and in providing them with homes and food. As a
final coup, Mr. Phillips has induced the city of Pittsburgh to create
the office of City Ornithologist, at a salary of $1200 per year. The
duty of the new officer is to protect all birds in the city from all
kinds of molestation, especially when nesting; to erect bird-houses,
provide food for wild birds, on a large scale, and report annually upon
the increase or decrease of feathered residents and visitors. Mr.
Frederic S. Webster, long known as a naturalist and practical
ornithologist, has been appointed to the position, and is now on active
So far as we are aware, Pittsburgh is the first city to create the
office of City Ornithologist. It is a happy thought; it will yield good
results, and other cities will follow Pittsburgh's good example.
* * * * *
THE ETHICS OF SPORTSMANSHIP
I count it as rather strange that American and English sportsmen have
hunted and shot for a century, and until 1908 formulated practically
nothing to establish and define the ethics of shooting game. Here and
there, a few unwritten principles have been evolved, and have become
fixed by common consent; but the total number of these is very few.
Perhaps this has been for the reason that every free and independent
sportsman prefers to be a law unto himself. Is it not doubly strange,
however, that even down to the present year the term "sportsmen" never
has been defined by a sportsman!
Forty years ago, a sportsman might have been defined, according to the
standards of that period, as a man who hunts wild game for pleasure.
Those were the days wherein no one foresaw the wholesale annihilation of
species, and there were no wilderness game preserves. In those days,
gentlemen shot female hoofed game, trapped bears if they felt like it,
killed ten times as much big game as they could use, and no one made any
fuss whatever about the waste or extermination of wild life.
Those were the days of ox-teams and broad-axes. To-day, we are living in
a totally different world,--a world of grinding, crunching, pulverizing
progress, a world of annihilation of the works of Nature. And what is a
A SPORTSMAN is a man who loves Nature, and who in the enjoyment of the
outdoor life and exploration takes a reasonable toll of Nature's wild
animals, but not for commercial profit, and only so long as his hunting
does not promote the extermination of species.
In view of the disappearance of wild life all over the habitable globe,
and the steady extermination of species, the ethics of sportsmanship has
become a matter of tremendous importance. If a man can shoot the last
living Burchell zebra, or prong-horned antelope, and be a sportsman and
a gentleman, then we may just as well drop down all bars, and say no
more about the ethics of shooting game.
But the real gentlemen-sportsmen of the world are not insensible to the
duties of the hour in regard to the taking or not taking of game. The
time has come when canon laws should be laid down, of world-wide
application, and so thoroughly accepted and promulgated that their
binding force can not be ignored. Among other things, it is time for a
list of species to be published which no man claiming to be either a
gentleman or a sportsman can shoot for aught else than preservation in a
public museum. Of course, this list would be composed of the species
that are threatened with extermination. Of American animals it should
include the prong-horned antelope, Mexican mountain sheep, all the
mountain sheep and goats in the United States, the California grizzly
bear, mule deer, West Indian seal and California elephant seal and
In Africa that list should include the eland, white rhinoceros,
blessbok, bontebok, kudu, giraffes and southern elephants, sable
antelope, rhinoceros south of the Zambesi, leucoryx antelope and
whale-headed stork. In Asia it should include the great Indian
rhinoceros and its allied species, the burrhel, the Nilgiri tahr and the
gayal. The David deer of Manchuria already is extinct in a wild state.
In Australia the interdiction should include the thylacine or Tasmanian
wolf, all the large kangaroos, the emu, lyre bird and the mallee-bird.
Think what it would mean to the species named above if all the sportsmen
of the world would unite in their defense, both actively and passively!
It would be to those species a modus vivendi worth while.
Prior to 1908, no effort (so far as we are aware) ever had been made to
promote the establishment of a comprehensive and up-to-date code of
ethics for sportsmen who shoot. A few clubs of men who are hunters of
big game had expressed in their constitutions a few brief principles for
the purpose of standardizing their own respective memberships, but that
was all. I have not taken pains to make a general canvass of sportsmen's
clubs to ascertain what rules have been laid down by any large number of
The Boone and Crockett Club, of New York and Washington, had in its
constitution the following excellent article:
"Article X. The use of steel traps, the making of large bags, the
killing of game while swimming in water, or helpless in deep snow, and
the unnecessary killing of females or young of any species of ruminant,
shall be deemed offenses. Any member who shall commit such offenses may
be suspended, or expelled from the Club by unanimous vote of the
In 1906, this Club condemned the use of automatic shotguns in hunting as
The Lewis and Clark Club, of Pittsburgh, has in its constitution, as
Section 3 of Article 3, the following comprehensive principle:
"The term 'legitimate sport' means not only the observance of local
laws, but excludes all methods of taking game other than by fair
stalking or still hunting."
At the end of the constitution of this club is this declaration, and
"_Purchase and sale of Trophies_.--As the purchase of heads and horns
establishes a market value, and encourages Indians and others to "shoot
for sale," often in violation of local laws and always to the detriment
of the protection of game for legitimate sport, the Lewis and Clark Club
condemns the purchase or the sale of the heads or horns of any game."
In 1906 the Lewis and Clark Club condemned the use of automatic
shotguns as unsportsmanlike.
The Shikar Club, of London, a club which contains all the big-game
hunters of the nobility and gentry of England,[Q] and of which His
Majesty King George is Honorary President, has declared the leading
feature of its "Objects" in the following terms:
"To maintain the standard of sportsmanship. It is not squandered bullets
and swollen bags which appeal to us. The test is rather in a love of
forest, mountains and desert; in acquired knowledge of the habits of
animals; in the strenuous pursuit of a wary and dangerous quarry; in the
instinct for a well-devised approach to a fair shooting distance; and in
the patient retrieve of a wounded animal."
[Footnote Q: This organization contains in its list of members the most
distinguished names in the modern annals of British sport and
exploration. Its honorary membership, of eight persons, contains the
names of three Americans: Theodore Roosevelt, Madison Grant and W.T.
Hornaday; and of this fact at least one person is extremely proud!]
In 1908 the Camp-Fire Club of America formally adopted, as its code of
ethics, the "Sportsman's Platform" of fifteen articles that was prepared
by the writer and placed before the sportsmen of America, Great Britain
and her colonial dependencies in that year. In the book of the Club it
regularly appears as follows:
* * * * *
CODE OF ETHICS
CAMP-FIRE CLUB OF AMERICA
_Proposed by Wm. T. Hornaday and adopted December 10, 1908_
1. The wild animal life of to-day is not ours, to do with as we
please. The original stock is given to us _in trust_, for the
benefit both of the present and the future. We must render an
accounting of this trust to those who come after us.
2. Judging from the rate at which the wild creatures of North
America are now being destroyed, fifty years hence there will be no
large game left in the United States nor in Canada, outside of
rigidly protected game preserves. It is therefore the duty of every
good citizen to promote the protection of forests and wild life and
the creation of game preserves, while a supply of game remains.
Every man who finds pleasure in hunting or fishing should be willing
to spend both time and money in active work for the protection of
forests, fish and game.
3. The sale of game is incompatible with the perpetual preservation
of a proper stock of game; therefore it should be prohibited by laws
and by public sentiment.
4. In the settled and civilized regions of North America there is no
real _necessity_ for the consumption of wild game as human food: nor
is there any good excuse for the sale of game for food purposes. The
maintenance of hired laborers on wild game should be prohibited
everywhere, under severe penalties.
5. An Indian has no more right to kill wild game, or to subsist upon
it all the year round, than any white man in the same locality. The
Indian has no inherent or God-given ownership of the game of North
America, anymore than of its mineral resources; and he should be
governed by the same game laws as white men.
6. No man can be a good citizen and also be a slaughterer of game or
fishes beyond the narrow limits compatible with high-class
7. A game-butcher or a market-hunter is an undesirable citizen, and
should be treated as such.
8. The highest purpose which the killing of wild game and game
fishes can hereafter be made to serve is in furnishing objects to
overworked men for tramping and camping trips in the wilds; and the
value of wild game as human food should no longer be regarded as an
important factor in its pursuit.
9. If rightly conserved, wild game constitutes a valuable asset to
any country which possesses it; and it is good statesmanship to
10. An ideal hunting trip consists of a good comrade, fine country,
and a _very few_ trophies per hunter.
11. In an ideal hunting trip, the death of the game is only an
incident; and by no means is it really necessary to a successful
12. The best hunter is the man who finds the most game, kills the
least, and leaves behind him no wounded animals.
13. The killing of an animal means the end of its most interesting
period. When the country is fine, pursuit is more interesting than
14. The killing of a female hoofed animal, save for special
preservation, is to be regarded as incompatible with the highest
sportsmanship; and it should everywhere be prohibited by stringent
15. A particularly fine photograph of a large wild animal in its
haunts is entitled to more credit than the dead trophy of a similar
animal. An animal that has been photographed never should be killed,
unless previously wounded in the chase.
This platform has been adopted as a code of ethics by the following
organizations, besides the Camp-Fire Club of America:
The Lewis and Clark Club, of Pittsburgh, John M. Phillips, President.
The North American Fish and Game Protective Association (International)
Massachusetts Fish and Game Protective Association, Boston.
Camp-Fire Club of Michigan, Detroit.
Rod and Gun Club, Sheridan County, Wyoming.
The platform has been endorsed and published by The Society for the
Preservation of the Wild Fauna of the British Empire (London), which is
an endorsement of far-reaching importance.
Major J. Stevenson-Hamilton, C.M.Z.S., Warden of the Government Game
Reserves of the Transvaal, South Africa, has adopted the platform and
given it the most effective endorsement that it has received from any
single individual. In his great work on game protection in Africa and
wild-animal lore, entitled "Animal Life in Africa" (and "very highly
commended" by the Committee on Literary Honors of the Camp-Fire Club),
he publishes the entire platform, with a depth and cordiality of
endorsement that is bound to warm the heart of every man who believes in
the principles laid down in that document. He says, "It should be
printed on the back of every license that is issued for hunting in
I am profoundly impressed by the fact that it is high time for sportsmen
all over the world to take to heart the vital necessity of adopting high
and clearly defined codes of ethics, to suit the needs of the present
hour. The days of game abundance, and the careless treatment of wild
life have gone by, never to return.
* * * * *
THE DUTY OF AMERICAN ZOOLOGISTS AND EDUCATORS TO AMERICAN WILD LIFE
The publication of this chapter will hardly be regarded as a bid for
fame, or even popularity, on the part of the author. However, the
subject can not be ignored simply because it is disagreeable.
Throughout sixty years, to go no further back, the people of America
have been witnessing the strange spectacle of American zoologists, as a
mass, so intent upon the academic study of our continental fauna that
they seem not to have cared a continental about the destruction of that
During that tragic period twelve species of North American birds have
been totally exterminated, twenty-three are almost exterminated, and the
mammals have fared very badly.
If "by their works ye shall know them," then no man can say that the men
referred to have been conspicuous on the firing line in defense of
assaulted wild life. In their hearts, we know that in an academic way
the naturalists of America do care about wild-life slaughter, and the
extermination of species; and we also know that perhaps fifty American
zoologists have at times taken an active and serious interest in
I am speaking now of the general body of museum directors and curators;
professors and teachers of zoology in our institutions of learning--a
legion in themselves; teachers of nature study in our secondary schools;
investigators and specialists in state and government service; the
taxidermists and osteologists; and the array of literary people who,
like all the foregoing, _make their bread and butter out of the
exploitation of wild life_.
Taken as a whole, the people named above constitute a grand army of at
least five thousand trained, educated, resourceful and influential
persons. They all _depend upon wild life for their livelihood_. When
they talk about living things, the public listens with respectful
attention. Their knowledge of the value of wild life would be worth
something to our cause; but thus far it never has been capitalized!
These people are hard workers; and when they mark out definite courses
and attainable goals, they know how to get results. Yet what do we see?
For sixty long years, with the exception of the work of a corporal's
guard of their number, this grand army has remained in camp, partly
neglecting and partly refusing to move upon the works of the enemy. For
sixty years, with the exception of the non-game-bird law, as a class and
a mass they have left to the sportsmen of the country the dictating of
laws for the protection of all the game birds, the mammals and the game
fishes. When we stop to consider that the game birds alone embrace _154
very important species_, the appalling extent to which the zoologist has
abdicated in favor of the sportsman becomes apparent.
It is a very great mistake, and a wrong besides, for the zoologists of
the country to abandon the game birds, mammals and fishes of North
America to the sportsmen, to do with as they please! Yet that is
practically what has been done.
The time was, thirty or forty years ago, when wild life was so abundant
that we did not need to worry about its preservation. That was the
golden era of study and investigation. That era ended definitely in
1884, with the practical extermination of the wild American bison,
partly through the shameful greed and partly through the neglect of the
American people. We are now living _in the middle of the period of
Extermination!_ The questions for every American zoologist and every
sportsman to answer now are: Shall the slaughter of species go on to a
quick end of the period? Shall we give posterity a birdless, gameless,
fishless continent, or not? Shall we have close seasons, all over the
country, for five or ten years, or for five hundred years?
If we are courageous, we will brace up and answer these questions now,
like men. If we are faint-hearted, and eager for peace at any price,
then we will sidestep the ugly situation until the destroyers have
settled it for us by the wholesale extermination of species.
If the zoologist cares to know, then I will tell him that to-day the
wild life of the world _can_ be saved by law, but _not by sentiment
alone!_ You cannot "educate" a poacher, a game-hog, a market-gunner, a
milliner or a vain and foolish woman of fashion. All these must be
curbed and controlled _by law_. Game refuges alone will not save the
wild life! _All_ species of birds, mammals and game fishes of North
America must have more thorough and far-reaching protection than they
Do not always take your cue from the sportsmen, especially regarding the
enactment of long close seasons! If you need good advice, or help about
drafting a bill, write to Dr. T.S. Palmer, Department of Agriculture,
Washington, and you will receive prompt and valuable assistance. The
Doctor is a wise man, and there is nothing about protective laws that is
unknown to him. Go to _your_ state senator and _your_ assemblyman with
the bills that you know should be enacted into law, and assure them that
those measures are necessary for the wild life, and beneficial to 98 per
cent of the people _who own the wild life_. You will be heard with
respectful attention, in any law-making body that you choose to enter.
People who cannot give time and labor must supply you with money for
your campaigns. _Ask_, and you will receive! I have proven this many
times. With care and exactness account to your subscribers for the
expenditure of all money placed in your hands, and you will receive
In times of great stress, print circulars and leaflets by the
ten-thousand, and get them into the hands of the People, calling for
_their_ help. Our 42,000 copies of the "Wild Life Call" (sixteen pages)
were distributed by organizations all over the state of New York, and
along with Mr. Andrew D. Meloy's letters to the members of the New York
State League, aroused such a tidal wave of public sentiment against the
sale of game that the Bayne bill was finally swept through the
Legislature with only one dissenting vote! And yet, in the beginning not
one man dared to hope that that very revolutionary measure could by any
possibility be passed in its first year in New York State, even if it
ever could be!
It was the aroused Public that did it!
This volume has been written (under great pressure) in order to put the
whole situation before the people of America, including the zoologists,
and to give them some definite information, state by state, regarding
the needs of the hour. Look at the needs of your own state, in the "Roll
Call of States," and you will find work for your hand to do. Clear your
conscience by taking hold now, to do everything that you can to stop the
carnage and preserve the remnant. Twenty-five or fifty years hence, if
we have a birdless and gameless continent, let it not be said that the
zoologists of America helped to bring it about by wicked apathy.
At this juncture, a brief survey of the attitude toward wild life of
certain American institutions of national reputation will be decidedly
pertinent. I shall mention only a few of the many that through their
character and position owe specific duties to this cause. _Noblesse
* * * * *
The Biological Survey of the U.S. Department of Agriculture is a
splendid center of activity and initiative in the preservation of our
wild life. The work of Dr. T.S. Palmer has already been spoken of, and
thanks to his efforts and direction, the Survey has become the
recognized special champion of preservation in America.
The U.S. Forestry Bureau is developing into a very valuable ally, and we
confidently look forward to the time when its influence in preservation
will be a hundred times more potent than it is to-day. _That will be
when every national forest is made a game preserve, and every forest
ranger is made a game warden_. Let us have both those developments, and
In 1896 the AMERICAN MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY became a center of
activity in bird protection, and the headquarters of the New York State
Audubon Society. The president of the Museum (Professor Henry Fairfield
Osborn) is also the president of that organization.
In several of the New York State movements for bird conservation,
especially those bearing on the plumage law, the American Museum has
been active, and at times conspicuous. No one (so I believe) ever
appealed to the President of the Museum for help on the firing line
without receiving help of some kind. Unfortunately, however, the
preservation of wild life is not one of the declared objects of the
American Museum corporation, or one on which its officers may spend
money, as is so freely and even joyously done by the Zoological Society.
The Museum's influence has been exerted chiefly through the active
workers of the State Audubon Society, and it was as president of that
body that Professor Osborn subscribed to the fund that was so largely
instrumental in creating the New York law against the sale of game.
There is room for an important improvement in the declared objects of
the American Museum. To the cause of protection it is a distinct loss
that that great and powerful institution should be unable to spend any
money in promoting the preservation of our fauna from annihilation. An
amendment to its constitution is earnestly recommended.
The activities of the NEW YORK ZOOLOGICAL SOCIETY began in 1896, and
they do not require comment here. They have been continuous, aggressive
and far-reaching, and they have been supported by thousands of dollars
from the Society's treasury. It is true that the funds available for
protection work have not represented a great annual sum, such as the
work demands, but the amount being expended from year to year is
steadily increasing. In serious emergencies there is _always something
available_! During the past two years, to relieve the Society of a
portion of this particular burden, the director of the Park secured
several large subscriptions from persons outside the Society, who
previously had never entered into this work.
The MILWAUKEE PUBLIC MUSEUM has entered actively and effectively into
the fight to preserve the birds of Wisconsin from annihilation by the
saloon-loafer element that three years ago determined to repeal the best
bird laws on the books, and throw the shooting privilege wide open. Mr.
Henry L. Ward, Director of the Museum, went to the firing line, and
remained there. Last year the saloon element thought that they had a
large majority of the votes in the legislature pledged to vote their
way. It looked like it; but when the decent people again rose and
demanded justice for the birds, the members of the legislature stood by
them in large majorities. The spring-shooting, bag-limit and
hunting-license laws were _not_ repealed.
THE UNIVERSITY OF KANSAS (Lawrence) scored heavily for the cause of
wild-life protection when in 1908 it gave to the Governor of the state
the services of a member of its faculty, Professor Lewis Lindsay Dyche,
who was wanted to fill the position of State Fish and Game Commissioner.
Professor Dyche proved to be a very live wire, and his activities have
covered the State of Kansas to its farthest corners. We love him for the
host of enemies he has made--among the poachers, game-butchers,
pseudo-"sportsmen" and lawbreakers generally. The men who thought they
had the "pull" of friendship for lawbreaking were first warned, and then
as second offenders hauled up to the bar, one and all. The more the
destroyers try to hound the Commissioner, the more popular is he with
the great, solid mass of good citizens who believe in the saving of wild
THE MUSEUM OF COMPARATIVE ZOOLOGY has at last made a beginning in the
field of protection. Last winter, while the great battle raged over the
Wharton no-sale-of-game bill, several members of the Museum staff
appeared at the hearings and otherwise worked for the success of the
measure. It was most timely aid,--and very much needed. It is to be
hoped that that auspicious beginning will be continued from year to
year. The Museum should keep at least one good fighter constantly in the
THE BOSTON SOCIETY OF NATURAL HISTORY takes a very active part in
promoting the preservation of the fauna of Massachusetts, and in
resisting the attempts of the destroyers to repeal the excellent laws
now in force. Its members put forth vigorous efforts in the great
campaign of 1912.
THE BROOKLYN INSTITUTE OF ARTS AND SCIENCES is well represented in the
field of protection by Director Franklin W. Hooper, now president of the
American Bison Society, and an earnest promoter of the perpetuation of
the bison. When, the Wind Cave National Bison Herd is fully established,
in South Dakota, as it practically _is already_, the chief credit for
that coup will be due to the unflagging energy and persistence of
THE BUFFALO ACADEMY OF SCIENCES in 1911 entered actively and
effectively, under the leadership of Dr. Lee H. Smith, into the campaign
for the Bayne bill. Besides splendid service rendered in western New
York, Dr. Smith appeared in Albany with a strong delegation in support
of the bill.
THE UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA was the first institution of learning to
enter the field of wild-life protection for active, aggressive and
permanent work. W.L. Taylor and Joseph Grinnell, of the University
Museum, have taken up the fight to save the fauna of California from the
dangers that now threaten it.
At this point our enumeration of the activities of American zoological
institutions comes to an unfortunate end. There are many individuals to
be named elsewhere, in the roll of honor, but that is another story. I
am now going to set before the public the names of certain institutions
largely devoted to zoology and permeated by zoologists, which thus far
seem to have entirely ignored the needs of our fauna, and which so far
we know have contributed neither men, money nor encouragement to the
Army of the Defense.
* * * * *
PARTIAL LIST OF INSTITUTIONS OWING SERVICE TO WILD LIFE.
_The United States National Museum_ contains a large and expensive corps
of zoological curators and assistant curators, some of whom long ago
should have taken upon themselves the task of reforming the laws of the
District of Columbia, Virginia and Maryland, at their very doors! This
museum should maintain at least one man in the field of protection, and
the existence of the Biological Survey is no excuse for the Museum's
_The Field Museum_ of Chicago is a great institution, but it appears to
be inactive in wild-life protection, and indifferent to the fate of our
wild life. Its influence is greatly needed on the firing line,
especially in Illinois, Wisconsin, Iowa and northern Minnesota. First of
all the odious sale-of-game situation in Chicago should be cleaned up!
_The Philadelphia Academy of Sciences_ has been represented on the
A.O.U. Committee on Bird Protection by Mr. Witmer Stone. The time has
come when this Academy should be represented on the firing line as a
virile, wide-awake, self-sacrificing and aggressive force. It is perhaps
the oldest zoological body in the United States! Its scientific standing
is unquestioned. Its members _must_ know of the carnage that is going on
around them, for they are not ignorant men. The Pennsylvania State Game
Commission to-day stands in urgent need of active, vigorous and
persistent assistance from the Philadelphia Academy in the fierce
campaign already in progress for additional protective laws. Will that
help be given?
_The Carnegie Institute_ of Washington (endowment $22,000,000)
unquestionably owes a great duty toward wild life, no portion of which
has yet been discharged. Academic research work is all very well, but it
does not save faunas from annihilation. In the saving of the birds and
mammals of North America a hundred million people are directly
interested, and the cause is starving for money, men and publicity.
Education is not the ONLY duty of educators!
_The Carnegie Museum_ at Pittsburgh should be provided by Pittsburgh
with sufficient funds that its Director can put a good man into the
field of protection, and maintain his activities. The State of
Pennsylvania, and the nation at large, needs such a worker at
Pittsburgh; and this statement is not open to argument!
The California Academy of Sciences; |
The Chicago Academy of Sciences; | Appear to have done nothing
The New York Academy of Sciences; | noteworthy in promoting
The National Academy of Sciences; | the preservation and increase
The Rochester Academy of Sciences; | of the wild life of America.
The Philadelphia Zoological Society; |
The National Zoological Park; |
* * * * *
A FEW OF THE INSTITUTIONS OF LEARNING WHICH SHOULD EACH DEVOTE ONE MAN
TO THIS CAUSE.
_Columbia University_, of New York, has a very large and strong corps of
zoological professors in its Department of Biology. No living organism
is too small or too worthless to be studied by high-grade men; but does
any man of Columbia ever raise his voice, actively and determinedly, for
the preservation of our fauna, or any other fauna? Columbia should give
the services of one man wholly to this cause.
There are men whose zoological ideals soar so high that they can not see
the slaughter of wild creatures that is so furiously proceeding on the
surface of this blood-stained earth. We don't want to hear about the
"behavior" of protozoans while our best song birds are being
exterminated by negroes and poor whites.
_Cornell University_ should now awaken to the new situation. All the
zoological Neros should not fiddle while Rome burns. For the sake of
consistency, Cornell should devote the services of at least one member
of its large and able faculty to the cause of wild-life protection.
Cornell was a pioneer in forestry teaching; and why should she not lead
off now in the new field?
_Yale University_, in Professor James W. Toumey, Director of the School
of Forestry, possesses a natural, ready-made protector of wild life.
From forestry to wild life is an easy step. We hopefully look forward to
the development of Professor Toumey into a militant protectionist,
fighting for the helpless creatures that _must_ be protected by man _or
perish_! If Yale is willing to set a new pace for the world's great
universities, she has the Man ready at hand.
_The University of Chicago_ should become the center of a great new
protectionist movement which should cover the whole Middle West area,
from the plains to Pittsburgh. This is the inflexible, logical necessity
of the hour. _Either protect zoology, or else for very shame give up
_Every higher institution of learning in America now has a duty in this
matter_. Times have changed. Things are not as they were thirty years
ago. To allow a great and valuable wild fauna to be destroyed and wasted
is a crime, against both the present and the future. If we mean to be
good citizens we cannot shirk the duty to conserve. We are trustees of
the inheritance of future generations, and we have no right to squander
that inheritance. If we fail of our plain duty, the scorn of future
generations surely will be our portion.
* * * * *
THE GREATEST NEEDS OF THE WILD-LIFE CAUSE AND THE DUTY OF THE HOUR
The fate of wild life in North America hangs to-day by three very
slender threads, the names of which you will hardly guess unaided. They
are Labor, Money and Publicity! The threads are slender because there is
so little raw material in them.
We do not need money with which to "buy votes" or "influence," but money
with which to pay workers; to publish things to arouse the American
people; to sting sportsmen into action; to hire wardens; to prosecute
game-hogs and buy refuges for wild life. If a sufficient amount of money
for these purposes cannot be procured, then as sure as the earth
continues to revolve, our wild life will pass away, forever.
This is no cause for surprise, or wonder. In this twentieth century
money is essential to every great enterprise, whether it be for virtue
or mischief. The enemies of wild life, and the people who support them,
are very powerful. The man whose pocket or whose personal privilege is
threatened by new legislation is prompted by business reasons to work
against you, and spend money in protecting his interests.
Now, it happens that the men of ordinary means who have nothing personal
at stake in the preservation of wild life save sentimental
considerations, cannot afford to leave their business more than three or
four days each year on protection affairs. Yet many times services are
demanded for many days, or even weeks together, in order to accomplish
results. Bad repeal bills must be fought until they are dead; and good
protective bills must be supported until the breath of life is breathed
into them by the executive signature.
With money in hand, good men aways can be found who will work in game
protection for about one-half what they would demand in other pursuits.
With the men _whom, you really desire_, sentiment is always a
controlling factor. It is my inflexible rule, however, in asking for
services, that men who give valuable time and strength to the cause
shall not be allowed to take their expense money from their own pockets.
Soldiers on the firing line _cannot_ provide the sinews of war that come
from the paymaster's chest!
Campaigns of publicity are matters of tremendous necessity and
importance; but their successful promotion requires hundreds, or
possibly thousands of dollars, for each state that is covered.
I believe that the wealthy men and women of America are the most liberal
givers for the benefit of humanity that can be found in all the world.
New York especially contains a great number of men who year in and year
out work hard for money--in order to give it away! The depth and breadth
of the philanthropic spirit in New York City is to me the most
surprising of all the strange impulses that sway the inhabitants of that
seething mass of mixed humanity. Every imaginable cause for the benefit
of mankind,--save one,--has received, and still is receiving, millions
of gift dollars.
Some enterprises for the transcendant education of the people are at
this moment hopelessly wallowing in the excess of wealth that has been
thrust upon them. Men are being hired at high salaries to help spend
wealth in high, higher, highest education and research. It is now
fashionable to bequeath millions to certain causes that do not need them
in the least! In education there is a mad scramble to educate every
young man to the topmost notch, often far above his probable station in
life, and into tastes and wants far beyond his powers to maintain.
In all this, however, there would be no cause for regret if the wild
life of our continent were not in such a grievous state. If we felt no
conscience burden for those who come after us, we would not care where
the millions go; but since things are as they are, it is heartbreaking
to see the cause of wild-life protection actually starving, or at the
best subsisting only on financial husks and crumbs, while less important
causes literally flounder in surplus wealth.
This regret is intensified by the knowledge that _in no other cause for
the conservation of the resources most valuable to mankind will a dollar
go so far, or bring back such good results, as in the preservation of
wild life!_ The promotion of "the Bayne bill" and the enactment of the
Bayne law is a fair example. That law is to-day on the statute books of
the State of New York because fifty men and women promptly subscribed
$5,000 to a fund formed with special reference to the expenses of the
campaign for that measure; and the uplift of that victory will be felt
for years to come, just as it already has been in Massachusetts.
At one time I was tempted to show the financial skeleton in the closet
of wild-life protection, by inserting here a statement of the funds
available to be expended by all the New York organizations during the
campaign year of 1911-1912. But I cannot do it. The showing is too
painful, too humiliating. From it our enemies would derive too much
Even in New York State, in view of the great interests at stake, the
showing is pitiful. But what shall we say of Massachusetts,
Pennsylvania, Connecticut, New Jersey, and a dozen other states where
the situation is much worse? In the winter of 1912 a cry for help came
to us from a neighboring state, where a terrific fight was being made by
the forces of destruction against all reform measures, and in behalf of
retrogression on spring shooting. The appeal said: "The situation in our
legislature is the worst that it has been in years. Our enemies are very
strong, well organized, and they fight us at every step. We have _no
funds_, and we are expected to make bricks without straw! Is there not
_something_ that you can do to help us?"
Only one week previously, a good friend (who declines to be named) gave
us _two thousand dollars_, of real money, for just such emergencies.
Within thirty-six hours an entirely new fighting force had been
organized and equipped for service. Within one week, those
reinforcements had made a profound impression on the defenses of the
enemy, and in the end the great fight was won. Of our small campaign
fund it took away over one thousand dollars; but the victory was worth
With money enough,--a reasonable sum,--the birds of North America, and
some of the small-mammal species also, can be saved. The big game that
is hunted and killed outside the game preserves, and outside of such
places as New Brunswick and the Adirondacks, can _not_ be saved--until
_each species_ is given perpetual protection. Colorado is saving a small
remnant of her mountain sheep, but Montana and Wyoming are wasting
theirs, because they allow killing, and the killers are ten times too
numerous for the sheep. They imagine that by permitting only the killing
of rams they are saving the species; but that is an absolute fallacy,
and soon it will have a fatal ending.
With an endowment fund of $2,000,000 (only double the price of the two
old Velasquez paintings purchased recently by a gentleman of New York!)
a very good remnant of the wild life of North America could be saved.
But who will give the fund, or even a quarter of it?
Thus far, the largest sums ever given in America for the cause of
wild-life protection, so far as I know personally, have been the
Albert Wilcox, to the National Association of Audubon Societies, $322,000