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Our Vanishing Wild Life by William T. Hornaday

Part 8 out of 11

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All shore birds that visit Iowa deserve a five-year close season.

Especially is the shooting of plover, sandpiper, marsh and beach
birds, rail, duck, geese and brant from September 1, to April 15, an

Iowa should prohibit the use of the machine guns, and it is to be
hoped that she will awaken sufficiently to do so.

It is said that the Indian word "Iowa" means "the drowsy, or sleepy
ones." Politically, and educationally, Iowa is all right, but in the
protection of wild life she is ten years behind the times, in almost
everything save the prohibition of the sale of game. _Iowa knows better
than to pursue the course that she does_! She boasts about her corn and
hogs, but she is deaf to the appeals of the states surrounding her on
the subject of spring shooting. For years Minnesota has set her a good
example; but nothing moves her to step up where she belongs in the
phalanx of intelligent game-protecting states.

The foregoing may sound harsh, but in view of what other states have
endured from Iowa's stubbornness regarding migratory game, the time for
silent treatment of her case has gone by. She is to-day in the same
class as North Carolina, South Carolina and Maryland,--at the tail end
of the procession of states. She cares everything for corn and hogs, but
little for wild life.


Spring shooting should be stopped, at once: with apologies for not
having done so long ago.

The continued shooting of prairie chickens when the species is near
extermination is outrageous, and should be prohibited for ten years.

Doves should be removed permanently from the game list, partly as a
measure of self respect.

Kansas should treat herself to a force of salaried game wardens
rendering real service.

She should bar out the machine guns as unfit for use in a
well-regulated State.

Kansas has calmly witnessed the extermination of her bison, elk, deer,
antelope, wild turkeys, sage grouse, whooping cranes, and the beginning
of the end of her pinnated grouse, without a pang. What is wild game in
comparison with fat hogs, and seventy-bushels-to-the-acre!

Draw a line around the hog-and-corn area of the United States, and
within it you will find more spring shooting, more sale of game and more
extermination of species than in any other area in the United States. I
refer to Nebraska, Kansas, Iowa, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio,
Kentucky and Tennessee. In not one of these states except Missouri is
there any big game hunting, and in the majority of them spring shooting
is lawful!

In the Island of Mauritius, it was swine that exterminated the dodo. In
the United States, hogs and game extermination still go hand in hand.
Since the days of the dodo, however, a new species of swine has been
developed. It is now widely known as the "game-hog," and it has been
officially recognized by both bench and bar.


Nearly everything that a state should maintain in the line of wild life
protection _Kentucky lacks_! It is easier to tell what she has than to
recite what she should have. Kentucky _permits spring shooting_; she has
_no bag limits_, and she has _long open seasons_ on everything save
introduced pheasants; She protects from sale only quail, grouse and wild
turkey _killed within her own borders_. This means that her markets are
practically wide open.

Until recently the people of Kentucky have been very indifferent to the
value of her wild-life; but with the new law enacted this year providing
for a game commission and a game protection fund, surely every member of
the Army of the Defense will wish God-speed to her efforts in game
conservation, and stand ready to lend a helping hand whenever help can
be utilized.

Kentucky should at one grand coup _stop spring shooting and all sale of
wild game, accord long close seasons to all species that are verging on
extinction, protect doves, establish moderate bag limits and stop the
use of machine guns_. If she takes up these measures at the rate of only
one at each legislative session, by the time her laws are perfect _all
her game will be gone_!


On more counts than one, Louisiana is in the list of Great Delinquents;
for behold the things that she needs to do:

Protect deer for five years.

Instantly take the robin, red-winged black-bird, dove, grosbeak,
wood-duck and gull off the list of birds that may be killed as

Stop all late winter and spring shooting.

Stop the sale of all native game, and the possession and
transportation of game sold or intended for sale. In short,

Enact a Bayne law.

Re-establish a game warden system.

In legally permitting the slaughter of the robin, red-winged blackbird,
dove, grosbeak, wood-duck and gull the state of Louisiana is very

For good reasons, forty states of the American Union strictly prohibit
the killing of song and insectivorous birds. The duty of every state to
protect those birds is not a debatable proposition. I put this question
to the people of Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Tennessee and
other states where the robin is treated as a game bird: Is it fair of
you to kill and eat robins when that species is carefully protected by
forty other states of our country for grave economic reasons? What would
you say of the people of the North if they slaughtered your mockingbird
_to eat_!

Remember this proportion:

The Robin : The North :: The Mockingbird : The South.

* * * * *




There are reasons for the belief that Maine is conserving her large game
better than any other state or province in North America. One glance
over her laws is sufficient to convince anyone that instead of studying
the clamor of her shooting population, Maine has actually been studying
the needs of her game, and providing for those needs. If all other
states were doing equally well, the task of writing a book of admonition
would have been unnecessary. The proof of Maine's alertness is to be
found in the number of her extra short, or entirely closed, seasons on
game. For example:

Cow and calf moose are permanently protected.

Only bull moose, with at least two 3-inch prongs on its horns, may
be killed.

Caribou have had a close season since 1899.

On gray and black squirrels, doves and quail, there is no open

The open season for deer varies from ten weeks to four weeks, and in
parts of three counties there is no open season at all.

Silencers are prohibited, and firearms in forests may be prohibited
by the Governor during droughts.

Nearly all wild-fowl shooting ends January 1, but in two places, on
December 1.

People who have not learned the facts habitually think of Maine as a
vast killing-ground for deer; and it is well for it to be known that the
hunting-grounds have been carefully designated, according to the
abundance or scarcity of game.

Maine has wisely chosen to regard her hunting-grounds and her deer as a
valuable asset, and she manages them accordingly. To be a guide in that
state is to be a good citizen, and a protector of game from illegal
slaughter. No non-resident may hunt without a licensed guide. The
licenses for the thousands of deer killed in Maine each year, and the
expenses of the visiting sportsmen who hunt them, annually bring into
the state and leave there a huge sum of money, variously estimated at
from $2,000,000 to $3,000,000. One can only guess at the amount from the
number of non-resident licenses issued; but certainly the total can not
be less than $1,000,000.

Although Mr. L.T. Carleton is no longer chairman of the Commission of
Inland Fisheries and Game, the splendid services that he rendered the
state of Maine during his thirteen years of service, especially in the
creation of a good code of game laws, constitute an imperishable
monument to his name and fame.

There is very little that Maine needs in the line of new legislation,
or better protection to her game. With the enactment of a resident
license law and a five-year close season for woodcock, plover, snipe and
sandpipers, I think her laws for the protection of wild life would be
sufficiently perfect for all practical purposes. The Pine-Tree State is
to be congratulated upon its wise and efficient handling of the
wild-life situation.


How has it come to pass that Maryland _lacks_ more good wild-life laws
than any other state in the Union except North Carolina? Of the really
fundamental protective laws, embracing the list that to every
self-respecting state seems indispensable, Maryland has almost none save
certain bag-limit laws! Otherwise, the state is wide open! It is indeed
high time that she should abandon her present attitude of hostility to
wild life, and become a good neighbor. She should do what is _fair_ and
_right_ about the protection of the migratory game and bird life that
annually passes twice through her territory!

At the last session of the Maryland legislature, the law preventing the
use of power boats in wild-fowl shooting was repealed. That was a step
ten years backward; and Maryland should be ashamed of it!

The list of things that Maryland must do in order to clear her record is
a long one. Here it is:

Local regulations should be replaced by a uniform state law.

The sale of all native wild game should be stopped.

Spring and late winter shooting of game should be stopped.

All non-game birds not already included under the statutes should be

The exportation of all game should be prohibited, unless accompanied
by the man who shot it, bearing his license, and the law should be
state-wide instead of depending upon a separate enactment for each

There should be a hunter's license law for all who hunt.

The use of machine shotguns in hunting should be stopped, at once.

Stop the use of power boats in wild-fowl shooting.


In 1912 the state of Massachusetts moved up into the foremost rank of
states, where for one year New York had stood alone. She passed a
counterpart of the New York law, absolutely prohibiting the sale of all
wild American game in Massachusetts, but providing for the sale of game
that has been reared in preserves and tagged by state officers. This
victory was achieved only after three months of hard fighting. The
coalition of sportsmen, zoologists and friends of wild life in general
proved irresistible, just as a similar union of forces accomplished the
Bayne law in New York in 1911. The victory is highly instructive, as
great victories usually are. It proves once more that whenever the
American people can be aroused from their normal apathy regarding wild
life, _any good conservation legislation can be enacted!_ The prime
necessities to success are good measures, good management, a reasonable
campaign fund, and tireless energy and persistence. Massachusetts is to
be roundly congratulated on having so thoroughly cleaned up her
sale-of-game situation.

Incidentally, five bills for the repeal of the Massachusetts law against
spring shooting were introduced, and each one went down to the defeat
that it deserved. _The repeal of a spring-shooting law, anywhere, is a
step backward ten years!_

Massachusetts needs a bag-limit law more in keeping with her small
remnant of wild life; and that she will have ere long. Very soon, also,
her sportsmen will raise the standard of ethics in shotgun shooting, by
barring out the automatic and pump shotguns so much beloved by the
market shooters. As matters stand at this date (1912) the Old Bay State
needs the following new laws:

Low bag limits on all game.

Five-year close seasons on all shore birds, snipe and woodcock.

Expulsion of the automatic and pump shotguns, in hunting.


On the whole, the game laws of Michigan are in excellent shape, and
leave little to be desired in the line of betterment except to be
simplified. All the game protected by the laws of the state is debarred
from sale; squirrels, pinnated grouse, doves and wild turkeys enjoy long
close seasons; the bag limits on deer and game birds are reasonably low;
spring shooting still is possible on nine species of ducks; and this
should be stopped without delay.

Only three or four suggestions are in order:

All spring shooting should be prohibited.

All shore birds should have a five-year close season.

The use of the machine shotguns in hunting should be stopped.

The laws should permit the sale, under tag, of all species of game
that can successfully be reared in preserves on a commercial basis.

Two or three state game preserves, for deer, each at least four
miles square, should be established without delay.


This state should at once enact a bag-limit law that will do some
good, instead of the statutory farce now on the books. Make it
fifteen birds per day of waterfowl, all species combined, and no
grouse or quail.

There should be five-year close seasons enacted for quail, grouse,
plover, woodcock, snipe, and all other shore birds.

A law should be enacted prohibiting the use of firearms by
unnaturalized aliens, and a $20 license for all naturalized aliens.

Provision should be made for a large state game refuge in southern

The state should prohibit the use of machine guns in hunting.

To-day, direct and reliable advices show that the game situation in
Minnesota is far from encouraging. Several species are threatened with
extinction at an early date. In northern Minnesota it is reported that
much game is surreptitiously trapped and slaughtered. The bob white is
reported as threatened with total extinction at an early date; but I
think the prairie chicken will be the first bird species to go. Moose
will soon be extinct everywhere in Minnesota except in the game
preserves. Apparently there is now about one duck in Minnesota for every
ten ducks that were there only ten years ago.

Now, what is Minnesota going to do about all this? Is she willing
through Apathy to become a gameless state? Her people need to arouse
themselves _now_, and pass several _strong_ laws. Her bag limit of
forty-five birds _per day_ of quail, grouse, woodcock and plover, and
_fifty_ per day of the waterbirds, is a joke, and nothing more; but it
is no laughing matter. It spells extermination.


The legalized slaughter of robins, cedar birds, grosbeaks and doves
should cease immediately, on the basis of economy of resources and a
square deal to all the states lying northward of Mississippi.

The shooting of all water-fowl should cease on January 1.

A reasonable limit should be established on deer.

A hunting license law should be passed at once, fixing the fee at $1
and devoting the revenue to the pay of a corps of non-political game
wardens, selected on a basis of ability and fitness.

The administration of the game laws should be placed in charge of a
salaried game commissioner.

It is seriously to the discredit of Mississippi that her laws actually
classify robins, cedar-birds, grosbeaks and doves as "game," and _make
them killable as such from Sept. 1 to March 1!_ I should think that if
no economic consideration carried weight in Mississippi, state pride
alone would be sufficient to promote a correction of the evil. If we of
the North were to slaughter mockingbirds for food, when they come North
to visit us, the men of the South would call us greedy barbarians; and
they would be quite right.


The Missouri bag limits that permit the killing or possession of
fifty birds per day are absurd, and fatally liberal. The utmost
should be twenty-five; and even that is too high.

Doves should be taken off the list of game birds, and protected
throughout the year; and so should all tree squirrels.

Spring shooting of shore birds and waterfowl should be prohibited
without delay.

A law against automatic and pump guns should be enacted at the next
legislative session, as a public lesson on the raising of the
standard of ethics in shooting.

The state of Missouri is really strong in her position as a
game-protecting state. She perpetually protects such vanishing species
as the ruffed grouse, prairie chicken (pinnated grouse), woodcock, and
all her shore birds save snipe and plover. She prohibits the sale of
native game and the killing of female deer; but she wisely permits the
sale of preserve-bred elk and deer under the tags of the State Game
Commission. For nearly all the wild game that is accessible, her markets
are tightly closed.

We heartily congratulate Missouri on her advanced position on the sale
of game, and we hope that the people of Iowa will even yet profit by her
good example.


Like Colorado and Wyoming, Montana is wasting a valuable heritage of
wild game while she struggles to maintain the theory that she still is
in the list of states that furnish big-game hunting. It is a fact that
ten years ago most sportsmen began to regard Montana as a has-been for
big game, and began to seek better hunting-grounds elsewhere. British
Columbia, Alberta and Alaska have done much for the game of Montana by
drawing sportsmen away from it. Mr. Henry Avare, the State Game Warden,
is optimistic regarding even the big game, and believes that it is
holding its own. This is partially true of white-tailed deer, or it was
up to the time of great slaughter. It is said that in 1911, 11,000 deer
were killed in Montana, all in the western part of the state, seventy
per cent of which were white-tails. The deep snows and extreme cold of a
long and unusually severe winter drove the hungry deer down out of the
mountains into the settlements, where the ranchmen joyously slaughtered
them. The destruction around Kalispell was described by Harry P.
Stanford as "sickening."

Mr. Avare estimates the prong-horned antelope in Montana at three
thousand head, of which about six hundred are under the quasi-protection
of four ranches.

The antelope need three or four small ranges, such as the Snow Creek
Antelope Range, where the bad lands are too rough for ranchmen, but
quite right for antelopes and other big game.

All the grouse and ptarmigan of Montana need a five-year close
season. The splendid sage grouse is now extinct in many parts of its
previous range. Fifty-eight thousand licensed gunners are too many
for them!

The few mountain sheep and mountain goats that survive should have a
five-year close season, at once.

The killing of female hoofed animals should be prohibited by law.

Montana has not yet adopted the model law for the protection of
non-game birds. Only seven states have failed in that respect.

The use of automatic and pump shotguns, and silencers, should
immediately be prohibited.

Montana's bag-limits are not wholly bad; but the grizzly bear has almost
been exterminated, save in the Yellowstone Park. Some of these days, if
things go on as they are now going, the people of Montana will be rudely
awakened to the fact that they have 50,000 licensed hunters but no
longer any killable game! And then we will hear enthusiastic talk about


No other state has bestowed close seasons upon as many extinct species
of game as Nebraska. Behold how she has resolutely locked the doors of
her empty cage after all these species have flown: Elk, antelope, wild
turkey, passenger pigeon, whooping crane, sage grouse, ptarmigan and
curlew. In a short time the pinnated grouse can be added to the list of

There is little to say regarding the future of the game of Nebraska; for
its "future" is now history.

Provision should be made for one or more state game preserves.

Spring shooting of shore birds and waterfowl should be prohibited.

A larger and more effective warden service should be provided.

Doves should be removed from the game list.


The sage grouse should be given a ten-year close season, for

All non-game birds should have perpetual protection.

The cranes, now verging on extinction, and the pigeons and doves
should at once be taken out of the list of game birds, and forever

All the shore birds need five years of close protection.

A State Game Warden whose term of office is not less than four years
should be provided for.

A corps of salaried game protectors should be chosen for active and
aggressive game protection.

Nevada's bag limits are among the best of any state, the only
serious flaw being "10 sage grouse" per day: which should be 0!

Nevada still has a few antelope; and _we beg her to protect them all
from being hunted or killed!_ It is my belief that if the antelope is
really saved anywhere in the United States outside of national parks and
preserves, it will be in the wild and remote regions of Nevada, where it
is to be hoped that lumpy-jaw has not yet taken hold of the herds.


Speaking generally, the New Hampshire laws regulating the killing and
shipment of game are defective for the reason that on birds, and in fact
all game save deer, there appear to be no "bag" limits on the quantity
that may be killed in a day or a season. The following bag limits are
greatly needed, forthwith:

Gray Squirrel, none per day, or per year; duck (except wood-duck),
ten per day, or thirty per season; ruffed grouse, four per day,
twelve per season; hare and rabbit, four per day, or twelve per

Five-year close seasons should immediately be enacted for the
following species: quail, woodcock, jacksnipe and all species of
shore or "beach" birds.

The sale of all native wild game should be prohibited; and
game-breeding in preserves, and the sale of such game under state
supervision, should be provided for.

The use of automatic and pump guns in hunting should be
barred,--through state pride, if for no other reason.


New Jersey enjoys the distinction of being the second state to break
the strangle-hold of the gun-makers of Hartford and Ilion, and cast out
the odious automatic and pump guns. It was a pitched battle,--that of
1912, inaugurated by Ernest Napier, President of the State Game and Fish
Commission and his fellow commissioners. The longer the contest
continued, the more did the press and the people of New Jersey awaken to
the seriousness of the situation. Finally, the gun-suppression bill
passed the two houses of the legislature with a total of only fourteen
votes against it, and after a full hearing had been granted the
attorneys of the gunmakers, was promptly signed by Governor Woodrow
Wilson. _Governor Wilson could not be convinced that the act was
"unconstitutional," or "confiscatory" or "class legislation."_

This contest aroused the whole state to the imperative necessity of
providing more thorough protection for the remnant of New Jersey game,
and it was chiefly responsible for the enactment of four other excellent
new protective laws.

New Jersey always has been sincere in her desire to protect her wild
life, and always has gone _as far as the killers of game would permit
her to go!_ But the People have made one great mistake,--common to
nearly every state,--of permitting the game-killers to dictate the game
laws! _Always and everywhere, this is a grievous mistake_, and fatal to
the game. For example: In 1866 New Jersey enacted a five-year
close-season law on the "prairie fowl" (pinnated grouse); but it was too
late to save it. Now that species is as dead to New Jersey as is the
mastodon. The moral is: Will the People apply this lesson to the ruffed
grouse, quail and the shore birds generally before they, too, are too
far gone to be brought back? If it is done, it must be done _against the
will of the gunners;_ for they prefer to shoot,--and shoot they will if
they can dictate the laws, until the last game bird is dead.

In 1912, New Jersey is spending $30,000 in trying to restock her
birdless covers with foreign game birds and quail. In brief, here are
the imperative duties of New Jersey:

Provide eight-year close seasons for quail, ruffed grouse, woodcock,
snipe, all shore birds and the wood-duck.

Prohibit the sale of all native wild game; but promote the sale of
preserve-bred game.

Prevent the repeal of the automatic gun law, which surely will be
attempted, each year.

Prohibit all bird-shooting after January 10, each year, until fall.

Prohibit the killing of squirrels as "game."


All things considered, the game laws of New Mexico are surprisingly up
to date, and the state is to be congratulated on its advanced position.
For example, there are long close seasons on antelope, elk (now
extinct!), mountain sheep, bob white quail, pinnated grouse, wild pigeon
and ptarmigan,--an admirable list, truly. It is clear that New Mexico is
wide awake to the dangers of the wild-life situation. On two counts, her
laws are not quite perfect. There is no law prohibiting spring shooting,
and there is no "model law" protecting the non-game birds. The sale of
game will not trouble New Mexico, because the present laws prevent the
sale of all protected game except plover, curlew and snipe,--all of them
species by no means common in the arid regions of the Southwest.

A law prohibiting spring shooting of shore birds and waterfowl
should be passed at the next session of the legislature.

The enactment of the "model law" should be accomplished without
delay to put New Mexico abreast of the neighboring states of
Colorado, Oklahoma and Texas.

The term of the State Warden should be extended to four years.


In the year of grace, 1912, I think we may justly regard New York as the
banner state of all America in the protection of game and wild life in
general. This proud position has been achieved partly through the
influence of a great conservation Governor, John A. Dix, and the State
Conservation Commission proposed and created by his efforts. In these
days of game destruction, when our country from Nome to Key West is
reeking with the blood of slaughtered wild creatures, it is a privilege
and a pleasure to be a citizen of a state which has thoroughly cleaned
house, and done well nigh the utmost that any state can do to clear her
bad record, and give all her wild creatures a fair chance to survive.
The people of the Empire State literally can point with pride to the
list of things accomplished in the discharge of good-citizenship toward
the remnant of wild life, and toward the future generations of New
Yorkers. That we of to-day have borne our share of the burden of
bringing about the conditions of 1912, will be a source of satisfaction,
especially when the sword and shield hang useless upon the walls of Old

New York began to protect her deer in 1705 and her heath hens in 1708.
In 1912 she stopped the killing of female deer, and of bucks having
horns less than three inches in length. Spring shooting was stopped in
1903. A comprehensive law protecting non-game birds was enacted in 1862.
New York's first law against the sale of certain game during close
seasons was enacted in 1837.

In 1911 New York enacted, with only one adverse vote, a law prohibiting
the sale of all native wild game throughout the state, no matter where
killed, and providing liberally for the encouragement of game-breeding,
and the sale of preserve-bred game.

In 1912 a new codification of the state game laws went into effect,
through the initiative of Governor Dix and Conservation Commissioners
Van Kennen, Moore and Fleming, assisted (as special counsel) by Marshall
McLean, George A. Lawyer and John B. Burnham. This code contains many
important new provisions, one of the most valuable of which is a clause
giving the Conservation Commission power, at its discretion, to shorten
or to close any open season on any species of game in any locality
wherein that species seems to be threatened with extermination. This
very valuable principle should be enacted into law in every state!

In 1910, William Dutcher and T. Gilbert Pearson and the National
Association of Audubon Societies won, after a struggle lasting five
years, the passage of the "Shea plumage bill," prohibiting the sale of
aigrettes or other plumage of wild birds belonging to the same families
as the birds of New York (Chap. 256). This law _should be duplicated in
every state._

_Two things_ remain to be done in the state of New York.

All the shore birds, quail and gray squirrels of the state should be
given five-year close seasons, by the action of the State
Conservation Commission.

For the good name of the state, and the ethical standing of its
sportsmen, as an example to other states, and the last remaining
duty toward our wild life, the odious automatic and pump shotguns
should be barred from use in hunting, unless their capacity is
reduced to two shots without reloading.

* * * * *




The game laws of North Carolina form a droll crazy-quilt of local and
state measures, effective and ineffective. In 1909, a total of 77 local
game laws were enacted, and only two of state-wide application. During
the ten years ending in 1910, a total of 316 game laws were enacted! She
sedulously endeavors to protect her quail, which do not migrate, but in
Currituck County she persistently maintains the bloodiest slaughter-pen
for waterfowl that exists anywhere on the Atlantic Coast. There is no
bag limit on waterfowl, and unlimited spring shooting. So far as
waterfowl are concerned, conditions could hardly be worse, except by the
use of punt guns. Doves, _larks_ and _robins_ are shot and eaten as
"game" from November 1 to March 1! Twenty-one counties have local
restrictions on the sale of game, but the state at large has only
one,--on quail.

The market gunners of Currituck Sound are a scourge and a pest to the
wild-fowl life of the Atlantic Coast. For their own money profit, they
slaughter by wholesale the birds that annually fly through twenty-two
states. It is quite useless to suggest anything to North Carolina in
modern game laws. As long as a killable bird remains, she will not stop
the slaughter. Her standing reply is "It brings a lot of money into
Currituck County; and the people want the money." Even the members of
the sportsmen's clubs can shoot wild fowl in Currituck County, quite
without limit; and I am told that the privilege often is abused. Quite
recently I heard of a member of one of the clubs who shot 164 ducks and
geese in two days!

Apparently any suggestions made to North Carolina would not be treated
seriously, especially if they would tend really to elevate the sport of
game shooting, or better protect the game. There is, however, a
melancholy interest attached to the framing of good game laws, whether
they ever are likely to be adopted or not. Here is the duty of North

Stop the killing of robins, doves and larks for food, absolutely and
forever. This measure is necessary to agriculture and to the good
name of the state.

Stop the shooting of any game for sale, prohibit the possession of
game for sale, and the sale of wild native game.

Establish bag limits on all waterfowl, and on all other game birds
and mammals.

Prepare to protect, at an early date, the wild turkey and quail;
for soon they will need it. Moreover, enact a law prohibiting the
use of automatic and pump guns in hunting, covering the entire

Provide a resident-license system and thereby make the game
department self-sustaining, and render it possible to employ a
salaried State Game Commissioner.

It is quite wrong for the people of North Carolina to hold grudges
against northern members of the ducking clubs of Currituck for the
passage of the Bayne law. They had nothing whatever to do with it, and I
can say this because I was in a position which enabled me to know.


In 1911, this sovereign state enacted a law _prohibiting the use of
automobiles_ in hunting wild-fowl; also rifles. North Dakota was the
first state to recognize officially the fact that the use of automobiles
in hunting is a serious menace to some forms of wild life. Beyond all
question, the machines do indeed bring an extra number of birds within
reach of the gun! They increase the annual slaughter; and it is right
and necessary to prohibit by law their use in hunting game of any kind.

In Putman County, New York, I have seen them in action. A load of three
or four gunners is whirled up to a likely mountain-side for ruffed
grouse, and presently the banging begins. After an hour or so spent in
combing out the birds, the hunters jump in, whirl away in a dust-cloud
to another spot two miles away, and "bang-bang-bang" again. After that,
a third locality; and so on, covering six or eight times the territory
that a man in a buggy, or on foot, could possibly shoot over in the same

North Dakota has done well, in the passage of that act. On certain other
matters, she is not so sound.

For instance:

The killing of pinnated grouse should be stopped for ten years; and
it should be done immediately.

The killing of cranes as "game" should stop, instantly and forever.
It is barbarous.

Fifty dead birds in possession at one time is fully thirty too many.
The game cannot stand such slaughter!

All shore birds (_Order Limicolae_) should have at least a five-year
close season, before they are exterminated.

The use of machine guns in hunting should be stopped, forever.

It is to the credit of the state that antelope are absolutely protected
until 1920, and an unlimited close season has been accorded the quail,
dove and swan.


I think that Ohio comes the nearest of all the states to being gameless.
With but slight exceptions her laws are about as correct as those of
most other states, but the desire to "kill" is so strong, and the
majority of her gunners are so thoroughly selfish about their "rights"
that the game has ruthlessly been swept away _according to law!_ Ohio
is a striking example of the deplorable results of _legalized_
slaughter. The spirit of Ohio is like that of North Carolina. Her
"sportsmen" will not have an automatic gun law! Oh, no! "Limit the bag,
shorten the season, and the gun won't matter!"

To-day, the visible game supply of Ohio does not amount to anything; and
when the last game bird of that state falls before the greediest
shooter, we shall say, "A gameless state is just what you deserve!"

It is useless to make any suggestions to Ohio. Her shooting Shylocks
want the last pound of flesh from wild life, and I think they will get
it very soon. Ohio is in the area of barren states. The seed stock has
been too thoroughly destroyed to be recuperated. I think that Ohio's
last noteworthy exploit in lawmaking for the preservation (!) of her
game was in 1904, when she put all her shore birds into the list of
killable game, and bravely prohibited the shooting of doves _on the
ground!_ Great is Ohio in game conservation!


For a state so young, the wild-life laws of Oklahoma are in admirable
shape; but it is reasonably certain that there, as elsewhere, the game
is being killed much faster than it is breeding. The new commonwealth
must arouse, and screw up the brakes much tighter.

Recently, an observing friend told me that on a trip of 250 miles
westward from Lawton and back again, watching sharply for game all the
way, he saw only five pinnated grouse! And this in a good season for
"prairie chickens."

Oklahoma must stop all spring shooting.

The prairie chicken must have a ten-year close season, immediately.

Next time, her legislature will pass the automatic gun bill that
failed last year only because the session closed too soon for its

Oklahoma is wise in giving long protection to her quail, and "wild
pigeon," and such protection should be made equally effective in the
case of the dove. She is wise in rigidly enforcing her law against the
exportation of game.

The Wichita National Bison herd, near Cache, now contains forty head of
bison, all in good condition. The nucleus herd consisted of fifteen head
presented by the New York Zoological Society in 1907.


The results of the efforts that have been made by Oregon to provide
special laws for each individual shooter are painful to contemplate.
Like North Carolina, Oregon has attempted the impossible task of
pleasing everybody, and at the same time protecting her wild life. The
two propositions can be blended together about as easily as asphalt and
water. The individual shooter desires laws that will permit him to
shoot--_when_ he pleases, _where_ he pleases, and _what_ he pleases! If
you meet those conditions all over a great state, then it is time to bid
farewell to the game; for it surely is doomed.

No, decidedly no! Do not attempt to pass game laws that will "please
everybody." The more the game-hogs are _displeased_, the better for the
game! The game-hogs form a very small and very insignificant minority of
the whole People. Why please one man at the expense of ninety-nine
others? The game of a state belongs to The People as a whole, not to the
gunners alone. The great, patient,--and sometimes sleepy,--majority has
vested rights in it, and it is for it to say how it shall and shall not
be killed. Heretofore the gunning minority has been dictating the game
laws of America, and the result is--progressive extermination.

First of all, Oregon should bury the pernicious idea of individual
and local laws.

She should enact a concise, clearly cut, and thoroughly effective
code of wild life laws, just as New York did last winter.

Her game seasons should be uniform in application, all over the

Every species of bird, mammal or fish that is threatened with
extermination should be given a close season of from five to ten

It is now time to protect the white goose and brant. Squirrels,
band-tailed pigeons and doves should be perpetually protected.

The State Game Commission should have power to close the shooting
seasons on any species of game in any locality, whenever a species
is threatened with extinction.

The sale of native wild game, from all sources, should be
permanently stopped, by a Bayne law.

The use of automatic, "autoloading" and pump shot guns in hunting
should be perpetually barred.


As a game protecting state, Pennsylvania is a close second to New York
and Massachusetts. She protects all native game from sale; _she has the
courage to prohibit aliens from owning guns; she bars out automatic
shot-guns in hunting_; she makes refuges for deer, and feeds her quail
in winter, and she permits the killing of no female deer, or fawns with
horns less than three inches in length. Her splendid State Game
Commission is fighting hard for a hunter's license law, and will win the
fight for it at the next session of the legislature (1913).

But there are certain things that Pennsylvania should do:

She should stop all spring shooting. She must stop killing doves,
blackbirds, wild turkeys, sandpipers, and all the squirrels save the
red squirrel.

She should give all her shore birds a rest of at least five years,
for recuperation.

She should enact a comprehensive Dutcher plumage law, stopping the
sale of aigrettes.

She should provide a resident license to furnish her Game Commission
with adequate funds to carry on its work and exterminate
game-killing vermin.


Little Rhody needs some good, small bag limits; for now (1912) she
has none!

She should enact a Bayne law, a Pennsylvania law against aliens,
and a New Jersey law against the automatic and pump guns.

She should stop killing the beautiful wood-duck, and gray squirrel.

She should stop all spring shooting of waterfowl.


She should save her game while she still has some to save.

First of all, stop spring shooting; secondly, enact a Bayne law.

In the name of mystery, who is there in South Carolina who desires
to kill grackles? And why?

And where is the gentleman sportsman who has come down to killing
foolish and tame little doves for "sport?" Stop it at once, for the
credit of the state.

Enact a dollar resident license law and thus provide adequate funds
for game protection.

South Carolina bag limits are all 50 per cent too high; and they
should be reduced.

It is strange to see one of the oldest of the states lagging in game
protection, far behind such new states as New Mexico and Oklahoma; but
South Carolina does lag. It is time for her to consider her position,
and reform.


South Dakota should stop all spring shooting.

Her game-bag limits are really no limits at all! They should be
reduced about 66 per cent without a moment's unnecessary delay.

The two year term of the State Warden is too short for effective
work. It should be extended to four years.

Unless South Dakota wishes to repeat the folly of such states as
Indiana, Iowa, Illinois, Missouri and Ohio, she needs to be up and
doing. If her people want a gameless state, except for migratory
waterfowl, all they need do is to slumber on, and they surely will have
it. Why wait until greedy sportsmen have killed the last game bird of
the state before seriously taking the matter in hand? In one act, all
the shortcomings of the present laws can be corrected.

South Dakota needs no Bayne law, because she prohibits at all times the
sale or exportation of all wild game.


In wild life protection, Tennessee has much to do. She made her start
late in life, and what she needs to do is to draft with care and enact
with cheerful alacrity certain necessary amendments.

We notice that there are open seasons for _blackbirds, robins, doves and
squirrels_! It seems incredible; but it is true.

Behold the blackbird as a "game" bird, with a lawful open season from
September 1 to January 1. Consider its stately carriage, its rapid
flight on the wing, its running and hiding powers when attacked. As a
test of marksmanship, as the real thing for the expert wing shot, is it
not great? Will not any self-respecting dog be proud to point or
retrieve them? And what flesh for the table!

Fancy an able-bodied sportsman going out in a fifty-dollar hunting suit,
carrying a fifteen-dollar gun behind a seven-dollar dog, and returning
with a glorious bag of twenty-five blackbirds! Or robins! Or doves!
Proud indeed, would we be to belong (which we don't) to a club of
"sportsmen" who go out shooting blackbirds, and robins, and foolish
little doves, as "game!" "Game" indeed, are those birds,--for little
lads of seven who do not know better; but not for boys of twelve who
have in their veins any inheritance of sporting blood. (I am proud of
the fact that at twelve years of age,--and ever so keen to "go
hunting,"--I knew without being told that squirrels and doves were not
_real_ "game" for real boys.)

The killers of doves, squirrels, blackbirds and robins belong in the
same class as the sparrow-and-linnet-killing Italians of Venice, Milan
and Turin, and in that company we will leave them.

Tennessee needs:

A resident license system to provide funds for game protection.

A salaried warden force.

A law prohibiting spring shooting of shore birds and waterfowl.

A law protecting robins, doves and other non-game birds not covered
by the present statute.


I remember well when the great battle was fought in Texas by the gallant
men and women of the State Audubon Society, to compel the people of
Texas to learn the economic value to agriculture and cotton of the
insectivorous birds. The name of the splendid Brigadier-General who led
the Army of the Defense was Capt. M.B. Davis. That was in 1903.

Since that great fight was won, Texas has been a partly reformed state,
at times quite jealous of her bird life; but still she tolerates spring
shooting and has not made adequate close seasons for her waterfowl;
which is wrong. To-day, the people of Texas do not need to be told that
forty-three species of birds feed on the cotton boll weevil; for they
know it.

On the whole, and for a southern state, the wild-life laws of Texas are
in fairly good shape. On account of the absence of game-scourge markets,
a Bayne law is not so imperatively necessary there as in certain other
states. All the game of the state is protected from sale.

We do assert, however, that if robins are slaughtered as F.L. Crow, the
former Atlantan asserts, all robin shooting should be forever stopped;
that the pinnated grouse should be given a seven-year close season, and
that doves should be taken off the list of game birds and perpetually
protected, both for economic and sentimental reasons, and also because
the too weak and confiding dove is not a "game" bird for red-blooded

Texas should enact without delay a law providing close seasons for
ducks, geese and other waterfowl;

A law prohibiting spring shooting, and

A provision reducing the limit on deer to two bucks a season.


The laws of Utah are far from being up to the requirements of the
present hour. One strange thing has happened in Utah.

When I spent a week in Salt Lake City in 1888, and devoted some time to
inquiring into game conditions, the laws of the state were very bad. At
the mouth of Bear River, ducks were being slaughtered for the markets by
the tens of thousands. The cold-blooded, wide open and utterly shameless
way in which it was being done, right at the doors of Salt Lake City,
was appalling.

At the same time, the law permitted the slaughter of _spotted fawns_. I
saw a huge drygoods box filled to the top with the flat skins of
slaughtered innocents, _260 in number_, that a rascal had collected and
was offering at fifty cents each. In reply to a question as to their
use, he said: "I tink de sportsmen like 'em for to make vests oud of."
He lived at Rawlins, Wyo.

After a long and somnolent period, during which hundreds of thousands of
ducks, geese, brant and other birds had been slaughtered for market at
the Bear River shambles and elsewhere, the state awoke sufficiently to
abate a portion of the disgrace by passing a bag-limit law (1897).

And then came Nature's punishment upon Utah for that duck slaughter. The
ducks of Great Salt Lake became afflicted with a terrible epidemic
disease (intestinal coccidiosis) which swept off thousands, and stopped
the use of Utah ducks as food! It was a "duck plague," no less. It has
prevailed for three years, and has not yet by any means been stamped
out. It seems to be due to the fact that countless thousands of ducks
have been feeding on the exposed alluvial flats at the mouth of the
creek that drains off the _sewage of Salt Lake City_. The conditions are
said to be terrible.

To-day, Utah is so nearly destitute of big game that the subject is
hardly worthy of mention. Of her upland game birds, only a fraction
remains, and as her laws stand to-day, she is destined to become in the
near future a gameless state. In a dry region like this, the wild life
always hangs on by a slender thread, and it is easy to exterminate it!

Utah should instantly stop the sale of game that she now legally
provides for,--twenty-five shore birds and waterfowl per day to
private parties!

Deer should be given a ten-year close season, at once. All bag
limits should instantly be reduced one-half. The sage grouse, quail,
swans, woodcock, dove, and all shore birds should be given a
ten-year close season,--and rigidly protected,--before the stock is
all gone.

The model law for the protection of non-game birds should be enacted
at once.

The absolute protection of elk, antelope and sheep (until 1913)
should be extended for twenty years.

Utah should create a big-game preserve, at once.

If Utah proposes to save even a remnant of her wild life for posterity,
she must be up and doing.


In view of all conditions, it must be stated that the game laws of
Vermont are, with but slight exceptions, in good condition. It is a
pleasure to see that there is no spring shooting; that there is no
"open" season of slaughter for the moose, caribou, wood-duck, swan,
upland plover, dove or rail; that no buck deer with antlers less than
three inches long may be killed; and that there is a law under which
damages by deer to growing crops may be assessed and paid for by the
county in which they occur. Moreover, if there is to be any killing of
game, her bag limits are not extravagant. All the game protected by the
state is immune from sale for food purposes, but preserve-reared game
may legally be sold. We recommend the following new measures:

Absolute close seasons of five-years' duration for ruffed grouse,
quail, woodcock, snipe and all shore birds without a single

The gray squirrel should be perpetually protected,--because he is
too beautiful, too companionable and too unfit for food to be
killed. Even the hungry savages of the East Indies do not eat

Pass an automatic pump-gun law.

Extend the term of the Fish and Game Commissioner to four years.

Vermont's great success in introducing and colonizing deer is both
interesting and valuable. Fifty years ago, she had no wild deer, because
the species had been practically exterminated. In 1875, thirteen deer
were imported from the Adirondacks and set free in the mountains. The
increase has been enormous. In 1909 the number of deer killed for the
year was about 5,311, which was possible without adversely affecting the
herds. It is a striking object-lesson in restoring the white-tailed deer
to its own, and it will be found more fully described in chapter XXIV.


Virginia is far below the position that she should occupy in wild-life
conservation. To set her house in order, and come up to the level of the
states that have been born during the past twenty years, she must bestir
herself in these ways:

She must provide for a resident hunting license, a State Game
Commissioner and a force of salaried wardens.

She must prohibit spring shooting.

She must impose small bag limits on game-slaughter.

She must resolutely stop the sale of all wild game.

She must stop the killing of female deer, and of bucks with horns
under three inches long.

She must stop killing gray squirrels and doves as "game."

She should not permit the beautiful wood-duck to be killed as

She should accord a five-year close season to grouse, and all shore

She should rule out the machine shot-guns which gentlemen can no
longer use in hunting.

She should adopt at once a comprehensive code of game laws, and clean
her house in one siege, instead of fiddling and fussing with all these
matters one by one, through a series of ten long, weary years. The time
for puttering with game protection has gone by. It is now time to make
short cuts to comprehensive results, and save the game before it is too


The state of Washington still flatters herself that she has all kinds of
big game to kill,--moose, antelope, goat, sheep, caribou and deer.
Evidently this is on the theory that so long as a species is not
extinct, it is "legal" and right to pursue it with rifles during a
specified "open season."

The people of Washington need to be told that conditions have greatly
changed, and it is now high time to put on the brakes. It is time for
them to realize that if they wait any longer for the sportsmen to take
the initiative in securing the enactment of really adequate preservation
laws, all their big game will be dead before those laws are born! Every
man shrinks from cutting off his own pet privilege.

Some of the game laws of Washington are up to date; and her big-game
laws look all right to the unaided eye, but are not. Her bird laws are a
chaotic jumble of local exceptions and special privileges. As a net
result of all her shortcomings, the remnant of a once fine fauna of big
game and feathered game is surely being _exterminated according to law._
A few local exceptions will not disprove the general truthfulness of
this assertion.

Ten years ago a few men in Seattle resented the idea of outside
co-operation in the protection of Washington game. They said they were
abundantly able to take care of it; but the march of events has proven
that they overestimated their capacity. To-day the wild-life laws of
that state are only half baked. Come what may to me, I shall set down
without malice the things that the great and admirable State of
Washington should do to set her house in order. It is not good for the
resourceful and progressive men of the Great Northwest to be clear
behind the times in these matters.

_Stop local game legislation, and enact a code of laws covering the
entire state, uniformly. County legislation is twenty years behind the

For ten (10) full years, stop the killing of elk, mountain sheep,
mountain goat, caribou, moose, and antelope. Regarding deer, I am in

Prohibit the sale of all wild game, no matter where killed, by the
enactment of a Bayne law, complete, which will also

Promote the breeding, killing and sale of domestic game for food

Make a careful investigation of the present status of your sage
grouse, every other grouse, quail, and all species of shore birds,
then give a five-year close season, all over the state, to every
species that is "becoming scarce." This will embrace certainly
one-half of the whole number, if not two-thirds.

Provide two bird refuges in the eastern portion of the state, where
they are very greatly needed to supplement the good effects of the
State Game Preserve established on Puget Sound in 1911.

Bar the use in hunting of the odious automatic and pump shotguns
that are now so generally in use all over the United States to the
great detriment of the game and the people.


Considering the fact that West Virginia contains no plague-spot city for
the consumption of commercial wild game, that the sale of all game is
prohibited at all times, and the game of the state may not be exported
for sale elsewhere, the wild life of West Virginia is reasonably secure
from the market gunner,--if an adequate salaried warden force is
provided. Without such a force her game must continue to be destroyed in
the future as in the past to supply the markets of Pittsburgh,
Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington. The deer law is excellent, and
the non-game birds, and the dove and wood-duck are perpetually

One fly in the ointment is--spring shooting; which for ducks, geese and
brant continues from September 1 to April 20. Unfortunately the law
enacted in 1875 against spring shooting has been _repealed,_ and so has
the resident hunting license law (1911).

In view of the impossibility of imagining a good reason for the repeal
of a good law, we recommend:

That the law against spring shooting be re-enacted.

That the resident hunter's license law be re-enacted, and the
proceeds specifically devoted to the preservation and increase of

That a force of regular salaried wardens be provided to enforce the

That the bag limit on quail should be 10 per day or 40 per season,
instead of 12 and 96; and on ruffed grouse it should be 3 per day
(as in New York) or 12 per season. One wild turkey per day, or three
per season is quite enough for one man. The visible supply will not
justify the existing limit of two and six.


In spite of the fierce fight made in 1910-11 by the saloon-element
game-shooters of Milwaukee for the control of the wild-life situation,
and the repeal of the best protective laws of the state, the Army of
Defense once more defeated the Allied Destroyers, and drove them off the
field. Once more it was proven that when The People are aroused, they
are abundantly able to send the steam roller over the enemies of wild

Alphabetically, Wisconsin may come near the end of the roll-call; but by
downright merit in protection, she comes mighty close to the head of the
list of states. Her slate of "Work to be done" is particularly clean;
and she has our most distinguished admiration. Her force of game wardens
is not a political-machine force. It amounts to something. The men who
get within it undergo successfully a civil service examination that
certainly separates the sheep from the goats. For particulars address
Dr. T.S. Palmer, Department of Agriculture, Washington.

According to the standards that have been dragging along previous to
this moment, Wisconsin has a good series of game laws. But the hour for
a Reformation of ideas and principles has struck. We heard it first in
April, 1911. The wild life of America must not be exterminated according
to law, contrary to law, or in the absence of law! Wisconsin must take
a fresh grip on her game situation, or it will get away from her, after

Not another prairie chicken or woodcock should be killed in
Wisconsin between 1912 and 1922. When any small bird becomes so
scarce that the bag limit needs to be cut down to five, as it now is
for the above in Wisconsin, it is time to stop for ten years, before
it is too late.

Wisconsin should immediately busy herself about the creation of bird
and game preserves.

For goodness sake, Wisconsin, stop killing squirrels as "game!" You
ought to know better--and you do! Leave that form of barbarism for
the Benighted States.

And pass a law shutting out the machine guns. They are a disgrace to
our country, and a scourge to our game. Continually are they leading
good men astray.

Extend the term of your State Warden to four years.


The State of Wyoming once had a magnificent heritage of game. It
embraced the Rocky Mountain species, and also those of the great plains.
First and last, the state has worked hard to protect her wild life, and
hold the killing of it down to a decent basis.

As far back as 1889, I met on the Shoshone River a very wide-awake
warden, actually "on his job," who was maintained by a body of private
citizens headed by Col. Pickett and known as the Northern Wyoming Game
Protective Association. And even then we saw that the laws were too
liberal for the game. In one man's cold-storage dug-out we saw enough
sheep, deer and elk meat to subsist a company of hungry dragoons, all
killed and possessed according to law.

In the protection of her mountain game, Wyoming has had a hard task. In
the Yellowstone Park between 1889 and 1894, the poachers for the
taxidermists of Livingston and elsewhere slaughtered 270 bison out of
300; and Howell was the only man caught. England can protect game in
far-distant mountains and wildernesses; but America can not,--or at
least _we don't!_ With us, men living in remote places who find wild
game about them say "To h--- with the law!" They kill on the sly, in
season and out of season, females and males; and the average local jury
simply _will not_ convict the average settler who is accused of such a
trifling indiscretion as killing game out of season when he "needs the

And so, with laws in full force protecting females, the volume of big
game steadily disappears, _everywhere west of the Alleghanies where the
law permits big-game hunting!_ An interesting chapter might be written
on game exterminated according to law.

The deadly defects in the protection of western big game are:

Structural weakness in the enforcement of the laws;

Collusion between offenders for the suppression of evidence;

Perjury on the witness stand;

Dishonesty and disloyalty on the part of local jurors when friends,
are on trial;

Sympathy of judges for "the poor man" who wants to eat the game to
save his cattle and sheep.


In Connecticut, New Jersey, New York, Oklahoma and Rhode Island an
additional fee of 10 to 20 cents is charged for issuing the license.

Inclosed names indicate States which permit residents to hunt on
their own land without license. Nova Scotia has a $5 resident
license and exempts landowners.

Note that many of the States adopt the French method of exempting
landowners, while some, particularly in the West follow the English
method of requiring everyone who hunts to obtain a license.

From Farmers' Bulletin No. 510, U-S. Dept. of Agriculture]

Elsewhere there appears a statement regarding the elk of Jackson Hole,
and the efforts made and being made to save them. At this point we are
interested in the game of Wyoming as a whole.

First of all, the killing of mountain sheep should absolutely cease,
for ten years.

A similar ten-year close season should be accorded moose and
prong-horned antelope.

All grouse should now be classed with doves and swans (no open
season), and kept there for ten years.

Spring shooting is wrong in principle and vicious in practice; and
it should be stopped in Wyoming, as elsewhere.

The automatic and pump shotguns when used in hunting are a disgrace
to Wyoming, as they are to other states, and should be suppressed;
and the silencer for use in hunting is in the black list.

* * * * *



We are assuming that the American people sincerely desire the adequate
protection and increase of bird life, for reasons that are both
sentimental and commercial. Surely every good citizen dislikes to see
millions of dollar's worth of national wealth foolishly wasted, and he
dislikes to pay any unnecessary increased cost of living. There must be
several millions of Americans who feel that way, and who are disposed to
demand a complete revolution in bird protection.

There are four needs of wild bird life that are fundamental, and that
can not be ignored, any more than a builder can ignore the four
cornerstones of his building. Listed in the order of their importance,
they are as follows:

1.--_The federal protection of all migratory birds._

2.--_The total suppression of the sale of native wild game_.

3.--_The total suppression of spring shooting and of shooting in the
breeding season, and_

4.--_Long close seasons for all species that are about to be "shot

If the gunners of America wish to have a gameless continent, all they
need do to secure it is to oppose these principles, prevent their
translation into law, and maintain the status quo. If they do this, then
_all our best birds are doomed to swift destruction_. Let no man make a
mistake on that point. The "open seasons" and "bag limits" of the United
States to-day are just as deadly as the 5,000,000 sporting guns now in
use, and the 700,000,000 annual cartridges. It is only the ignorant or
the vicious who will seriously dispute this statement.

for the protection of all migratory birds by the national government is
the most important measure ever placed before that body in behalf of
wild life. A stranger to this proposition will need to pause for thought
in order to grasp its full meaning, and appreciate the magnitude of its

The urgent necessity for a law of this nature is due to the utter
inadequacy of the laws that prevail throughout some portions of the
United States concerning the slaughter and preservation of birds. Any
law that is not enforced is a poor law. There is not one state in the
Union, nor a single province in Canada, in which the game birds, and
other birds criminally shot as game, are not being killed far faster
than they are breeding, and thereby being exterminated.

Several states are financially unable to employ a force of salaried game
wardens; and wherever that is true, the door to universal slaughter is
wide open. Let him who questions this take Virginia as a case in point.
A loyal Virginian told me only this year that in his state the warden
system is an ineffective farce, and the game is not protected, because
the wardens can not afford to patrol the state for nothing.

This condition prevails in a number of states, north and south,
especially south. It is my belief that throughout nine-tenths of the
South, the negroes and poor whites are slaughtering birds exactly as
they please. It is the _permanent residents_ of the haunts of birds and
game that are exterminating the wild life.

The value of the birds as destroyers of noxious insects, has been set
forth in Chapter XXIII. Their total value is enormous--or it _would_ be
if the birds were alive and here in their normal numbers. To-day there
are about one-tenth as many birds as were alive and working thirty years
ago. During the past thirty years the destruction of our game birds has
been enormous, and the insectivorous birds have greatly decreased.

The damages annually inflicted upon the farm, orchard and garden crops
of this country are very great. When a city is destroyed by earthquake
or fire, and $100,000,000 worth of property is swept away, we are racked
with horror and pity; and the cities of America pour out money like
water to relieve the resultant distress. We are shocked because we can
_see_ the flames, the smoke and the ruins.

And yet, we annually endure with perfect equanimity (_because we can not
see it_?) a loss of nearly $400,000,000 worth of value that is destroyed
by insects. The damage is inflicted silently, insidiously, without any
scare heads or wooden type in the newspapers, and so we pay the price
without protest. We know--when we stop to think of it--that not all this
loss falls upon the producer. We know that every consumer of bread,
cereals, vegetables and fruit _pays his share of this loss_! To-day,
millions of people are groaning under the "increased cost of living."
The bill for the federal protection of all migratory birds is directly
intended to decrease the cost of living, by preventing outrageous waste;
but of all the persons to whom the needs of that bill are presented, how
many will take the time to promote its quick passage by direct appeals
to their members of Congress? We shall see.

The good that would be accomplished, annually, by the enactment of a law
for the federal protection of all migratory birds is beyond computation;
but it is my belief that within a very few years the increase in bird
life would prevent what is now an annual loss of $250,000,000. It is
beyond the power of man to protect his crops and fruit and trees as the
bird millions would protect them--if they were here as they were in
1870. The migratory bird bill is of vast importance because it would
throw the strong arm of federal protection around 610 species of birds.
The power of Uncle Sam is respected and feared in many places where the
power of the state is ignored.

The list of migratory birds includes most of the perching birds; all the
shore birds (_great_ destroyers of bad insects); all the swifts and
swallows; the goat-suckers (whippoorwill and nighthawk); some of the
woodpeckers; most of the rails; pigeons and doves; many of the hawks;
some of the cranes and herons and all the geese, ducks and swans.

A movement for the federal protection of migratory game birds was
proposed to Congress by George Shiras, 3rd, who as a member of the House
in the 58th Congress introduced a bill to secure that end. An excellent
brief on that subject by Mr. Shiras appeared in the printed hearing on
the McLean bill, held on March 6, 1912, page 18. Omitting the bills
introduced in the 59th, 60th and 61st sessions, mention need be made
only of the measures under consideration in the present Congress. One of
these is a bill introduced by Representative J.W. Weeks, of
Massachusetts, and another is the bill of Representative D.R. Anthony,
Jr., of Kansas, of the same purport.

Finally, on April 24, 1912, an adequate and entirely reasonable bill was
introduced in the Senate by Senator George P. McLean, of Connecticut, as
No. 6497 (Calendar No. 606). This bill provides federal protection for
_all_ migratory birds, and embraces all save a very few of the species
that are specially destructive to noxious insects. The bill provides
national protection to the farmer's and fruit-grower's best friends. It
is entitled to the enthusiastic support of 90,000,000 of people, native
and alien. Every producer of farm products and every consumer of them
owes it to himself to write at once to his member of Congress and ask
him (1) to urge the speedy consideration of the bill for the federal
protection of all migratory birds, (2) to vote for it, and (3) to work
for it until it is passed. It matters not which one of the three bills
described finally becomes a law. Will the American people act rationally
about this matter, and protect their own interests?

commercial slaughter of game and its sale for food is now becoming well
understood by the American people. One by one the various state
legislatures have been putting up the bars against the exportation or
sale of any "game protected by the state." The U.S. Department of
Agriculture says, through Henry Oldys, that "free marketing of wild game
leads swiftly to extermination;" and it is literally true.

Up to March, 1911, it appears that several states prohibited the sale of
game, sixteen states permitted the sale of all unprotected game, and in
eight more there was partial prohibition. Unfortunately, however, many
of these states permitted the sale of _imported_ game. Now, since it
happened to be a fact that the vast majority of the states prohibit the
_export_ of their game, as well as the sale of it, a very large quantity
of such game as quail, ruffed grouse, snipe, woodcock and shore birds
was illegally shot for the market, exported in defiance both of state
laws and the federal Lacey Act, and sold to the detriment of the states
that produced it. In other words, in the laws of each state that merely
sought to protect _their own_ game, regardless of the game of
neighboring states, there was not merely a loop-hole, but there was a
gap wide enough to drive through with a coach and four. The ruffed
grouse of Massachusetts and Connecticut often were butchered to make
Gotham holidays in joyous contempt of the laws at both ends of the line.
As a natural result the game of the Atlantic coast was disappearing at a
frightful rate.


In 1911, the no-sale-of-game law of New York was born out of sheer
desperation. The Army of Destruction went up to Albany well-organized,
well provided with money and attorneys, with three senators in the
Senate and two assemblymen in the lower house, to wage merciless warfare
on the whole wild-life cause. The market gunners and game dealers not
only proposed to repeal the law against spring shooting but also to
defeat all legislation that might be attempted to restrict the sale of
game, or impose bag limits on wild fowl. The Milliners' Association
proposed to wipe off the books the Dutcher law against the use of the
plumage of wild birds in millinery, and an assemblyman was committed to
that cause as its special champion.

Then it was that all the friends of wild life in the Empire State
resolved upon a death grapple with the Destroyers, and a fight to an
absolute finish. The Bayne bill, entirely prohibiting the sale of all
native wild game throughout the state of New York, was drafted and
thrown into the ring, and the struggle began. At first the
no-sale-of-game bill looked like sheer madness, but no sooner was it
fairly launched than supporters came flocking in from every side. All
the organizations of sportsmen and friends of wild life combined in one
mighty army, the strength of which was irresistible. The real sportsmen
of the state quickly realized that the no-sale bill was _directly in the
interest of legitimate sport_. The great mass of people who love wild
life, and never kill, were quick to comprehend the far-reaching
importance of the measure, and they supported it, with money and

The members of the legislature received thousands of letters from their
constituents, asking them to support the Bayne-Blauvelt bill. They did
so. On its passage through the two houses, only _one_ vote was recorded
against it! Incidentally, every move attempted by the Army of
Destruction was defeated and in the final summing up the defeat amounted
to an utter rout.

In 1912, after a tremendous struggle, the legislature of Massachusetts
passed a counterpart of the Bayne law, and took her place in the front
rank of states. That was a great fight. The market-gunners of Cape Cod,
the game dealers and other interests entered the struggle with men in
the lower house of the legislature specially elected to look after their
interests. Just as in New York in 1911, they proposed to repeal the
existing laws against spring shooting and throw the markets wide open to
the sale of game. From first to last, through three long and stormy
months, the Destroyers fought with a degree of determination and
persistence worthy of a better cause. They contested with the Defenders
every inch of ground. In New York, the Destroyers were overwhelmed by
the tidal wave of Defenders, but in Massachusetts it was a prolonged
hand-to-hand fight on the ramparts. _Five times_ was a bill to repeal
the spring-shooting law introduced and defeated!

Even after the bill had passed both houses by good majorities, the
Governor declared that he could not sign it. And then there poured into
the Executive offices such a flood of callers, letters, telegrams and
telephone calls that he became convinced that the People desired the
law; so he signed the bill in deference to the wishes of the majority.

The principle that the sale of game is wrong, and fatal to the existence
of a supply of game, is as fixed and unassailable as the Rocky
Mountains. Its universal acceptance is only a question of intelligence
and common honesty. The open states owe it to themselves and each other
to enact both the spirit and the letter of the Bayne law, _and do it
quickly_, before it is too late to profit by it! Let them remember the
heath hen,--amply protected when entirely too late to save it from

It is fairly beyond question that the killing of wild game for the
market, and its sale in the "open season" _and out of it_, is
responsible for the disappearance of at least fifty per cent of our
stock of American feathered game. It is the market-gunner, the game-hog
who shoots "for sport" and sells his game, and the game dealer, who have
swept away the wild ducks, the ruffed grouse, the quail and the prairie
chickens that thirty years ago were abundant on their natural ranges.
The foolish farmers of the middle West permitted the market-hunters of
Chicago and the East to slaughter their own legitimate game by the
barrel and the car-load, and ship it "East," to market. To-day the
waters of Currituck Sound are a wholesale slaughter-place for migratory
wild fowl with which to supply the markets of Baltimore, Washington and
Philadelphia. Furthermore, the market gunners of Currituck are robbing
the people of 16 states of tens of thousands of wild-fowl that
legitimately belong to them, during the annual autumn flight. The
accompanying map shows how it is done.

This map shows how the sale of ducks killed on the Carrituck Sound
robs the people of 16 states, for the benefit of a few.
(Signed W.T. Hornaday, March 6, 1911.)]

To-day, the cash rewards of the market-hunter who can reach a large city
with his product are dangerously great. Observe the following
_wholesale_ prices that prevailed in New York city in 1910, just prior
to the passage of the Bayne law. They were compiled and published by
Henry Oldys, of the Biological Survey.

Grouse, domestic per pair $3.00
Grouse, foreign " " $1.25 to 1.75
Partridge, domestic " " 3.50 " 4.00
Woodcock, domestic " " 1.50 " 2.00
Golden plover per dozen 2.50 " 3.50
English snipe " " 2.00 " 3.00
Canvasback duck per pair 2.25 " 3.00
Redhead duck " " 1.50 " 2.50
Mallard duck " " " 1.25
Bluewing teal " " .75 " 1.00
Greenwing teal " " .75 " .90
Broadbill duck " " .50 " .75
Rail, No. 1 per dozen " 1.00
Rail, No. 2 " " " .60
Venison, whole deer per pound .22 " .25
Venison, saddle " " .30 " .35

All our feathered game is rapidly slipping away from us. _Are we going
to save anything from the wreck_? Will we so weakly manage the game
situation that later on there will be no legitimate bird-shooting for
our younger sons, and our grandsons?

All laws that permit the killing of game for the market, and the sale of
it afterward, are class legislation of the worst sort. They permit a
hundred men selfishly to slaughter for their own pockets the game that
rightfully belongs to a hundred thousand men and boys who shoot for the
legitimate recreation that such field sports afford. Will any of the
sportsmen of America "stand for" this until the game is _all_ gone?

The people who pay big prices for game in the hotels and restaurants of
our big cities are not men who _need_ that game as food. Far from it.
They can obtain scores of fine meat dishes without destroying the wild
flocks. In civilized countries wild game is no longer necessary as
"food," to satisfy hunger, and ward off starvation. In the United States
the day of the hungry Indian-fighting pioneer has gone by and there is
an abundance of food everywhere.

The time to temporize and feel timid over the game situation has gone
by. The situation is desperate; and nothing but strong and vigorous
measures will avail anything worth while. The sale of all wild game
should be stopped, everywhere and at all seasons, throughout all North
America, and throughout the world. To-day this particular curse is being
felt even in India.

It is the duty of every true sportsman, every farmer who owns a gun, and
every lover of wild life, to enter into the campaign for the passage of
bills absolutely prohibiting all traffic in wild game no matter what its
origin. Of course the market hunters, the game-hogs and the game dealers
will bitterly oppose them, and hire a lobby to attempt to defeat them.
But the fight for no-sale-of-game is now on, and it must not stop short
of complete victory.

* * * * *


1.--Because fully 95 per cent of our legitimate stock of feathered
game has already been destroyed.

2.--Because if market-gunning and the sale of game continue ten
years longer, all our feathered game will be swept away.

3.--Because when the sale of game was permitted one dealer was able
to sell 1,000,000 _game birds per year in New York City_, so he
himself said.

4.--Because it is a fixed fact that every wild species of mammal,
bird or reptile that is pursued for money-making purposes eventually
is wiped out of existence. Even the whales of the sea are no

5.--Because at least 50 per cent of the decrease in our feathered
game is due to market-gunning, and the sale of game. Look at the
prairie chicken of the Mississippi Valley, and the ruffed grouse of
New England.

6.--Because the laws that permit the commercial slaughter of wild
birds for the benefit of less than five per cent of the inhabitants
of any state are directly against the interest of the 95 per cent of
other people, to _whom that game partly belongs_.

7.--Because game killed "for sale" is not intended to satisfy
"hunger." The people who eat game in large cities do not know what
hunger is, save by hearsay. Purchased game is used chiefly in
over-feeding; and as a rule it does far more harm than good.

8.--Because the greatest value to be derived from any game bird is
in seeing it, and photographing it, and enjoying its living company
in its native haunts. Who will love the forests when they become
destitute of wild life, and desolate?

9.--Because stopping the sale of game _will help bring back the game
birds to us, in a few years_.

10.--Because the pace that New York and Massachusetts have set in
this matter will render it easier to procure the passage of Bayne
laws in other states.

11.--Because those who legitimately desire game for their tables can
be supplied from the game farms and preserves that now are coming
into existence.

When New York's far-reaching Bayne bill became a law, the following dead
birds lay in cold storage in New York City:

Wild duck 98,156
Plover 48,780
Quail 14,227
Grouse 21,202
Snipe 7,825
Woodcock 767
Rail 419

They represented the last slaughterings of American game for New York.
To-day the remaining plague-spots are Chicago, Philadelphia, San
Francisco, Baltimore, Washington and New Orleans; but in New Orleans the
brakes have at last (1912) been applied, and the market slaughter that
formerly prevailed in that state has at least been checked.

As an instance of persistent market shooting on the greatest ducking
waters of the eastern United States, I offer this report from a
trustworthy agent sent to Currituck Sound, North Carolina, in March,

I beg to submit the following information relative to the number of
wild ducks and geese shipped from this market and killed in the
waters of Back Bay and the upper or north end of Currituck Sound,
from October 20th to March 1st, inclusive.

Approximately there were killed and shipped in the territory above
named, 130,000 to 135,000 wild ducks and between 1400 and 1500 wild
geese. From Currituck Sound and its tributaries there were shipped
approximately 200,000 wild ducks.

You will see from the above figures that each year the market
shooter exacts a tremendous toll from the wild water fowl in these
waters, and it is only a question of a short time when the wild duck
will be exterminated, unless we can stop the ruthless slaughter. The
last few years I have noted a great decrease in the number of wild
ducks; some of the species are practically extinct. I have secured
the above information from a most reliable source, and the figures
given approximately cannot be questioned.

The effect of the passage of the Bayne law, closing the greatest
American market against the sale of game was an immediate decrease of
fully fifty per cent in the number of ducks and geese slaughtered on
Currituck Sound. The dealers refused to buy the birds, and one-half the
killers were compelled to hang up their guns and go to work. The
duck-slaughterers felt very much enraged by the passage of the law, and
at first were inclined to blame the northern members of Currituck
ducking clubs for the passage of the measure; but as a matter of fact,
not one of the persons blamed took any part whatever in the campaign for
the new law.

THE UNFAIRNESS OF SPRING SHOOTING.--The shooting of game birds in late
winter and spring is to be mentioned only to be condemned. It is grossly
unfair to the birds, outrageous in principle, and most unsportsmanlike,
no matter whether the law permits it or not. Why it is that any state
like Iowa, for example, can go on killing game in spring is more than I
can understand. I have endeavored to find a reason for it, in Iowa, but
the only real reason is:--"The boys want the birds!"

I think we have at last reached the point where it may truthfully be
said that now no gentleman shoots birds in spring. If the plea is made
that "if we don't shoot ducks in the spring we can't shoot them at all!"
then the answer is--if you can't shoot game like high-minded,
red-blooded sportsman, _don't shoot it at all_! A gentleman can not
afford to barter his standing and his own self-respect for a few ducks
shot in the spring when the birds are going north to lay their eggs. And
the man who insists on shooting in spring may just as well go right on
and do various other things that are beyond the pale, such as shoot
quail on the ground, shoot does and fawns, and fish for trout with gang

There are no longer two sides to what once was the spring shooting
question. Even among savages, the breeding period of the wild creatures
is under taboo. Then if ever may the beasts and birds cry "King's
excuse!" It has been positively stated in print that high-class fox
hounds have been known to refuse to chase a pregnant fox, even when in
full view.

* * * * *



The most charming trait of wild-life character is the alacrity and
confidence with which wild birds and mammals respond to the friendly
advances of human friends. Those who are not very familiar with the
mental traits of our wild neighbors may at first find it difficult to
comprehend the marvelous celerity with which both birds and mammals
recognize friendly overtures from man, and respond to them.

At the present juncture, this state of the wild-animal mind becomes a
factor of great importance in determining what we can do to prevent the
extermination of species, and to promote the increase and return of wild

I think that there is not a single wild mammal or bird species now
living that can not, or does not, quickly recognize protection, _and
take advantage of it_. The most conspicuous of all familiar examples are
the wild animals of the Yellowstone Park. They embrace the elk, mountain
sheep, antelope, mule deer, the black bear and even the grizzly. No one
can say precisely how long those several species were in ascertaining
that it was safe to trust themselves within easy rifle-shot of man; but
I think it was about five years. Birds recognize protection far more
quickly than mammals. In a comparatively short time the naturally wild
and wary big game of the Yellowstone Park became about as tame as range
cattle. It was at least fifteen years ago that the mule deer began to
frequent the parade ground at the Mammoth Hot Springs military post, and
receive there their rations of hay.

Whenever you see a beautiful photograph of a large band of big-horn
sheep or mule deer taken at short range amid Rocky Mountain scenery, you
are safe in labeling it as having come from the Yellowstone Park. The
prong-horned antelope herd is so tame that it is difficult to keep it
out of the streets of Gardiner, on the Montana side of the line.

But the bears! Who has not heard the story of the bears of the
Yellowstone Park,--how black bears and grizzlies stalk out of the woods,
every day, to the garbage dumping-ground; how black bears actually have
come _into the hotels_ for food, without breaking the truce, and how the
grizzlies boldly raid the grub-wagons and cook-tents of campers, taking
just what they please, because they _know_ that no man dares to shoot
them! Indeed, those raiding bears long ago became a public nuisance, and
many of them have been caught in steel box-traps and shipped to
zoological gardens, in order to get them out of the way. And yet,
outside the Park boundaries, everywhere, the bears are as wary and wild
as the wildest.

The arrogance of the bears that couldn't be shot once led to a droll
and also exciting episode.

During the period when Mr. C.J. Jones ("Buffalo" Jones) was
superintendent of the wild animals of the Park, the indignities
inflicted upon tourist campers by certain grizzly bears quite abraded
his nerves. He obtained from Major Pitcher authority to punish and
reform a certain grizzly, and went about the matter in a thoroughly
Buffalo-Jonesian manner. He procured a strong lariat and a bean-pole
seven feet long and repaired to the camp that was troubled by too much

The particular offender was a full-grown male grizzly who had become a
notorious raider. At the psychological moment Jones lassoed him in short
order, getting a firm hold on the bear's left hind leg. Quickly the end
of the rope was thrown over a limb of the nearest tree, and in a trice
Ephraim found himself swinging head downward between the heavens and the
earth. And then his punishment began.

Buffalo Jones thrashed him soundly with the bean-pole! The outraged bear
swung to and fro, whirled round and round, clawing and snapping at the
empty air, roaring and bawling with rage, scourged in flesh and insulted
in spirit. As he swung, the bean-pole searched out the different parts
of his anatomy with a wonderful degree of neatness and precision.
Between rage and indignation the grizzly nearly exploded. A
moving-picture camera was there, and since that day that truly moving
scene has amazed and thrilled countless thousands of people.

When it was over, Mr. Jones boldly turned the bear loose! Although its
rage was as boundless as the glories of the Yellowstone Park, it paused
not to rend any of those present, but headed for the tall timber, and
with many an indignant "Woof! Woof!" it plunged in and disappeared. It
was two or three years before that locality was again troubled by
impudent grizzly bears.

And what is the mental attitude of _every_ Rocky Mountain black or
grizzly bear _outside_ of the Yellowstone Park? It is colossal suspicion
of man, perpetual fear, and a clean pair of heels the moment man-scent
or man-sight proclaims the proximity of the Arch Enemy of Wild
Creatures. And yet there are one or two men who tell the American public
that wild animals do not think, that they do not reason, and are
governed only by "instinct"!

"A little knowledge is a dangerous thing!"

TAMING WILD BIRDS.--As incontestable proof of the receptive faculties of
birds, I will cite the taming of wild birds in the open, by friendly
advances. There are hundreds, aye, thousands, of men, women, boys and
girls who could give interesting and valuable personal testimony on this

My friend J. Alden Loring (one of the naturalists of the Roosevelt
African Expedition), is an ardent lover of wild birds and mammals. The
taming of wild creatures in the open is one of his pastimes, and his
results serve well to illustrate the marvelous readiness of our wild
neighbors to become close friends with man _when protected_. I will
quote from one of Mr. Loring's letters on this subject:

"Taming wild birds is a new field in nature study, and one never can
tell what success he will have until he has experimented with different
species. Some birds tame much more easily than others. On three or four
occasions I have enticed a chickadee _to my hand_ at the first attempt,
while in other cases it has taken from fifteen minutes to a whole day.

"Chipping sparrows that frequent my doorway I have tamed in two days. A
nuthatch required three hours before it would fly to my hand, although
it took food from my stick the first time it was offered. When you find
a bird on her nest, it is of course much easier to tame that individual
than if you had to follow it about in the open, and wait for it to come
within reach of a stick. By exercising extreme caution, and approaching
inch by inch, I have climbed a tree to the nest of a yellow-throated
vireo, and at the first attempt handed the bird a meal-worm with my
fingers. At one time I had two house wrens, a yellow-throated vireo, a
chipping sparrow and a flock of chickadees that would come to my hand."


It would be possible--and also delightful--to fill a volume with
citations of evidence to illustrate the quick acceptance of man's
protection by wild birds and mammals. Let me draw a few illustrations
from my own wild neighbors.

On Lake Agassiz, in the N.Y. Zoological Park, within 500 feet of my
office in the Administration Building, a pair of wild wood-ducks made
their nest last spring, and have just finished rearing nine fine,
healthy young birds. Whenever you see a wood-duck rise and fly in our
Park, you may know that it is a wild bird. During the summer of 1912 a
small flock of wild wood-ducks came every night to our Wild-Fowl Pond,
and spent the night there.

A year ago, a covey of eleven quail appeared in the Park, and have
persistently remained ever since. Last fall and winter they came at
least twenty times to a spot within forty feet of the rear window of my
office, in order to feed upon the wheat screenings that we placed there
for them.

When we first occupied the Zoological Park grounds, in 1899, there was
not one wild rabbit in the whole 264 acres. Presently the species
appeared, and rabbits began to hop about confidently, all over the
place. In 1906, we estimated that there were about eighty individuals.
Then the marauding cats began to come in, and they killed off the
rabbits until not one was to be seen. Thereupon, we addressed ourselves
to those cats, in more serious earnest than ever before. Now the cats
have disappeared; and one day last spring, as I left my office at six
o'clock, everyone else having previously gone, I almost stepped upon two
half-grown bunnies that had been visiting on the front door-mat.

When we were macadamizing the yards around the Elephant House, with a
throng of workmen all about every day, a robin made its nest on the
heavy channel-iron frame of one of the large elephant gates that swung
to and fro nearly every day.

In 1900 we planted a young pine tree in front of our temporary office
building, within six feet of a main walk; and at once a pair of robins
nested in it and reared young there.

Chickadee and Chipmunk Tamed by Mr. Loring]


Up in Putnam County, where for five years deer have been protected, the

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