Birds of Nebraska: Newspaper Accounts, 1854-1923

October 27, 1912. Omaha Sunday Bee 42(19): 4-S.

Fine Fall Spoils Shooting

Weather Too Good for the Men Behind the Hammerless.

No Big Flight Now Likely

Birds Doing Well Up North, and Only Straggling Movements to Southern Winter Quarters Looked For.

Contrary to all expectations, and all predictions the weather did not change at the end of last week, but continued mild and balmy as ever, the consequence being there was no extra flight of wild fowl from the north. This was a great disappointment to the hunters, as they now feel that there is to be no especially big flight, as the birds will only straggle through from this on to the end. It is a wonderful thing, and yet none the less true, that when we have a long-drawn-out fall, like that we are now being favored with, there is no very great flight of birds from the north at any time. They simply start from the close of the breeding season in September, when the bluewing are massing for their journey to the gulf, and keep on coming in small bunches and clusters until the severe weather swoops down in November, and sends them all scurrying high up for the sunny lands of the south. They hardly give us a look in here, for they know instinctly that the conditions far to the south are just what they delight to revel away the winter in.

Of course, there is still a chance for a great flight, but a brief one, and the hunter so fortunate as to be able to take advantage of it will be a lucky fellow.

With the first symptom of the final freeze-up in the north the birds will all congregate together, and at a given signal from some wise old head, mount high in the chill air and make a straight shoot for the softer clime. They may stop off here for a day or two, owing to the grand feed attractions, but that is all. They know that on to the south there is nothing but fair waters, glorious sunshine and plenty of feed. On the whole the shooting season, owing to the land-drawn-out beautiful fall weather, has been a great disappointment and the hunters have been all awry. What was expected to be one of the bests falls for years has proven but an indifferent one and cannot know much improvement, for the time is too short now and the cold, snows and sleet of winter will soon be upon us.

Frank Brubacker, one of Omaha's best known and most popular sportsmen, has been up in the vicinity of Stuart with a bunch of kindred spirits the last week and, while they have had the usual good time that all good fellows have in the open, they have killed but few birds, either wild fowl or chicken.

The quail season, one of the most longed for by all the followers of the hammerless, opens next Friday November 1 and continues but two weeks. While the prospects are none to good, there are lots of birds reported in certain localities, and a few hunters are destined to have some pretty fair shooting. Birds near Valley, Neb., are said to be quite thick and several Omaha parties are contemplating trips to this point.

Frank Forney, the rugged old scout, of the Waubuncey, and Nat Baldwin, the Bill Biddon of the Iowa marshes, were in the city only a few days ago with a wagonload of ducks, which they took great pleasure in sending around to their Omaha friends. No matter how slim the flight, this pair always manage to secure plenty. It is the general opinion they have an understanding with the duck family.

W.E. Wagner is down on the Bigelow flats today popping away at the late Jacksnipe. Bill got word yesterday that the tail end of the flight was unusually good so he hopped into his new 1913 Velie and ran down there. We will expect at least a dozen on the half shell for all this exploitation.

Frank Haskell and George Redick returned Thursday from Cody, where they have spent the last two weeks on Anderson's ranch near the banks of the Niobrara. They secured both the limit in ducks and chicken, and intend to depart for the same regions as soon as they can arrange their business affairs. Both are inveterate hunters, and only get enough when the season has nothing left for their pleasure.

Late advices from the Platte have it that the flight of Mallards and Redheads has dwindled away next to nothing, and that no shooting need be looked for until there is a riotous change in the weather.

Manager Mohler of the Union Pacific, Ward Burgess and Arthur Smith, dry goods kings, have gone to Big Springs for canvasback. Word from that region says the birds were passing over in large numbers early in the week, with any number of them stopping in the water surrounding the village.

H.E. Lathrope of Kansas City was in Omaha Friday morning en route home from a late autumn bass fishing trip at Gull lake, Minnesota. He had a basket of fine bass and three muskellunge that tipped the beam at seventy-eight pounds. Mr. Lathrope is one of Kansas City's best known anglers, and he wants The Bee to aid him in organizing an Omaha and Kansas City club with a view of leasing Gull lake for a long series of years. More of Mr. Lathrope's project later.

George Falk of Calhoun shot and killed a forty-one-pound raccoon back of his hunting shack on Horse Shoe lake Thursday night and has put the varmint in the hands of Lawrence Skow, the well known taxidermist, for mounting.

Mr. and Mrs. Dick Stewart returned early in the week from a two weeks shot at Oshkosh, Neb. They had little or no luck, although a good outing was thoroughly enjoyed by both. The weather, according to Mr. Stewart, was positively hot during their stay, and not until the day they left was any signs of a flight apparent.

Captain Townsend, and son, W.D., will leave in the latter's automobile along with a couple of New York friends, next Thursday evening for Atkinson, Neb., where they will put in the opening days of the quail season with Sam Brady, the best known sportsman of that region.

J.M. Gillian was down on the Pappio Thursday morning last and despite the fact that we have had several hard frosts, succeeded in bagging nine jacksnipes.

Jack Ryan, Bill Schipke and F.C. Grovey, who journeyed up the river to Coffman station early in the week and secured a good bag of red squirrels and ducks, are planning another expedition for a day;s shooting this week. The boys on leaving Coffman station on their last trip were forced to flag an evening train, and finding no lantern available, Ryan and Grovey assert that a portion of Skipper's negligee shirt was used as a signal to bring the rattler to a stop. This Schipke hotly denies, but he was seen emerging from a local hardware store Saturday with a large lantern under his arm, the supposition being, that he intends donating the same to Coffman station.

Word was received from Harold Sobotker and party near Hyannis yesterday, to the effect that they are having the time of their lives. They have secured enough birds to make the trip worth the while, to say nothing of the numerous pleasures afforded them by the splendid weather. They have taken close onto thirty different photographs, and are planning on securing many more, judging from an order to send them several rolls of films. Their letter gave no hint that they intend coming home for some time yet.

J.H. De Jong spent a few days hunting ducks near Seward, Neb., last week. He returned home with an even dozen of mallards and teal.