Birds of Nebraska: Newspaper Accounts, 1854-1923

September 29, 1912. Omaha Sunday Bee 42(15): 4-S.

Ducks are Now on the Wing

Big Flight Expected Here from the North Within Short Time.

Young Birds Coming First

Charley Metz Reports that Bluewings Were Never More Plentiful, but They Are Rapidly Making for South.

The cool, frosty mornings and evenings will set the wild fowl in motion, and the big flight - as the old shooters call it - will soon be here from the north.

Their duties up there have at last all been preformed; the young have grown to full size and are strong enough of wing to venture upon their long journey to the south.

The old ones are chafing at the restraint and are all plumed for new and fresher scenes. It is really a strange thing, but nevertheless true, that the young birds come down first, then follow the daddies, the provident little hens always tailing off the flight.

It is certainly a curious thing, this migrating business, and little more is really known about it now than was known in the misty days of the oldest duck hunters in the land.

The shooting around Omaha, while comparatively poor this fall, up to date, is daily improving and may be tolerably good before the final freeze sets in.

The first mallard killed up at Carter lake is reported by Chris Anson. He brought it down Wednesday evening while waiting for Bluewings, which species have been quite plentiful at these waters ever since the middle of August.

But their visit is about to end.

The Bluewing is about as delicate as an upland plover, and when the mornings and evenings begin to chill, he gets ready to go over the Kansas border.

Charley Metz says that the Blueings have never been more plentiful than they have this fall upon his private preserve. He says that they were growing restless as long ago as last Sunday, and he expects to find them all gone by the time he returns there next Saturday evening.

By the way, Mr. Metz has added 2,000 acres to his domain in Cherry county, and expects to increase it by three thousand more before the winter sets in.

This will give him 8,000 acres in all and he intends to keep the land largely as a game preserve for the pleasure of himself and intimate friends.

He is having a lodge built in the center of the property and will have this tenanted by a regularly appointed warden who will patrol the place and keep off all uninvited shooters.

Mr. Metz brought down with him twenty-four grouse which furnished the piece de resistance for the Fred Metz anniversary dinner at the Henshaw Friday night.

Mr. Metz goes back to the ranch Saturday evening accompanied by the Ak-Sar-Ben boss, Dad Weaver, and a bunch of St. Louis friends.

Charley Cullan and Elmer Thomas left Wednesday for a fortnight of duck shooting in the western part of Nebraska. They are stopping at a farm about ten miles north of Oshkosh, which is in the very heart of one of the best ducking regions in the state. A number of good bags of teal have been garnered from the lakes of this section within the last two weeks by hunters from Oshkosh and the two Omaha men are expected to return with the limit.

A.L. Mohler, Ward Burgess and Nels Updike started for Cherry county Saturday.

Arthur Thomason, who swats the flies in W.A. Rourke's center garden during the balmy months, will polish up his musket after the last contest with St. Joseph today and will journey to Liberty, Mo., where after a brief visit with relatives he intends journeying to the outskirts of Liberty in pursuit of chickens and ducks. There has been a great deal of joshing on the Omaha team this summer as to who is the best hunter - Skipper Bill Schipke or Tommy, and each one swears he will show the other up on the first fall trip.

While Skipper has spent about half of his time in the Ozarks, Tommy has also had considerable experience with the shot-filled shells, having hunted for the market for a number of seasons.

Stockton Heth and T. Candiff, returned last week from a very successful shoot at Bassett, Neb. They report any number of chickens around this vicinity and said if there were no game laws they could prove it.

Reports from all over the state are to the effect that quail shooting will be a very slim quantity this fall. The scarcity of birds is really remarkable considering the fact that the summer has been ideal for their thriving. The only answer that the farmers can give to their being so few is the probability of the severe weather last winter reducing their number to such an extent that a single season has not been sufficient time for their recovery.

Jim Alpscow and party start the latter part of this week for Pelican lake, in the sand hills. Pelicans are not their prey, however, as along as more delectable denizens of the marshes are in sight. Pelican lake is situated in the central part of Cherry county, and for many years has been a camping spot for Omaha hunters. Fall or spring visitors seldom return empty handed from this region, while in most instances the limit has been the reward of their efforts.

Joe Dreibus, who is at Dunning, Neb., writes home that his party is enjoying excellent shooting of chicken and teal. Mallards have been scarce so far, but with the recent rainy spell they are beginning to arrive in small bunches. He reports an abundance of feed everywhere, and sufficient water to make it ideal for the feather travelers.

Harold Sobotker, Al Bush, Leon Callahan and Burt Carpenter will leave Omaha on October 5 for Currie's ranch, fifty-five miles from Hyannis, Nebraska. This is the third successive season the party has hunted this territory, both spring and fall. The usual program has been to proceed by automobile to Currie's ranch and from that point, with a complete but small camping outfit, make brief visits to the surrounding lakes, spending a couple of days or more at each one, according to the condition of the shooting. The trip this year will cover a period of three weeks, the quartet wishing to get a crack at the big ducks later in the season. It is planned that camp will be opened on Muskrat lake, a body of water which has contributed its full share to their game bags during previous outings.