Birds of Nebraska: Newspaper Accounts, 1854-1923

November 24, 1912. Omaha Sunday Bee 42(23): 4-S.

Hunting Season Fruitless

Weather Has Been Too Mild to Suit Knights of the Gun.

The disappointment of the knights of the scatter gun has continued unbroken up to date, although just now there are many tokens of a speedy change in the weather. That this change, when it does come, will be a cold and disagreeable one goes without saying, for the long stretch of beautiful weather Nebraska has been favored with justifies no other expectation.

Either cold rain or snow just now will bring down the rest of the ducks lingering in the north, but the chances are that they will tarry here but a short time; that is, all but those hardy old redleg mallards and the few greenwings that can be driven on south only by the severest weather, and even this does not always send all away. No matter how rigid and tight the winter they are always to be found lingering over the spring-fed streams, especially those that cut through low hills, clear up to the spring time. It is quite probable that the wild fowl, save these two species, have now passed and are enjoying themselves in the warm marshes and weedy lagoons of the south. But summing up the whole thing, there is little doubt but what the autumn hunting season on all game, excepting cottontails, for 1912 has run its course. It has been a big disappointment in every way - on chickens, geese and ducks, quail and jacksnipe alike - and those that did strike a favorable day may consider themselves fortunate. But all this poor shooting must not be stored up against the birds, especially the water fowl, for while they were as plentiful as ever, the long-drawn-out balmy weather kept them from coming down from the north in anything but straggling bunches. But with the chickens and quail it was different. There was almost no quail and the chickens were scarcer than ever before. The party of J.J. Deright, John W. Weaver, Dr. van Camp, Lee McGreer, Albert Cahn, Arthur Metz and Sandy Griswold, who spent week before last at Charlie Metz's famous ranch up in Cherry county, met with only indifferent success in a shooting way, but, of course, had a great time. In all they bagged 150 ducks and a couple of dozen grouse.

Bill and Paul Hoagland indulged in their windup shoot of the season near Norfolk last week. They were out five days and killed fifty some quail and two or three dozen chickens.

Clem Langley, the genial proprietor of the Langley hunting lodge, up on Enders lake, south of Ainsworth, was down yesterday on a visit to Mrs. Langley, who is an inmate of the Wise Memorial hospital. Clem brought with him a specimen of the hooded merganser, a bird he killed on his lake last Tuesday, and it is pronounced by judges of such things as the most perfect and beautiful hooded merganser ever secured in Nebraska waters. It had all the markings and iridescent colors of the wood duck and Mr. Langley was of the opinion that it was a hybrid, a cross of these two rare birds. While the different species of the merganser are common on Nebraska waters the hooded merganser is but infrequently seen and less oftener bagged. Mr. Langley also told of his efforts to secure a perfectly white spoonbill he saw in a small bunch the same day. He got within seventy-five or eighty yards of it several times, but it was too wild to permit him to get within range. He chased the little clock almost all day from one end of the lake to the other, but along toward evening they arose high in the air and with the albino in the lead bore away out of the country.

Jim M. Gillan, manager of the Auditorium and a ravenous duck hunter, was out at Hershbarger's camp on the Platte, near Schuyler, a few days this week and reports a fair lot of sport on late mallards. The day before J.M. got there the Hershbargers killed five Canada geese during a little flurry early in the morning.

President Taft, it is noted through the telegraph, has added nearly 1,000 acres to the game preserve sanctuary and breeding grounds up at old Fort Niobrara. That this is going to be one of the greatest grounds for the rearing of chickens and quail there is in the country, there is now but little doubt.

Frank Blubaker has just returned from a week's shoot up west of Sprague, where he secured twenty-nine chickens and forty ducks. Not so bad for a lone huntsman.