August 28, 1884. Forest and Stream 23(5): 87.
The Prairie Chickens.
LINCOLN, Nebraska. It turns out that prairie chickens in this section of the country are quite "thin." Parties who were out on the 15th, after hard work all day over fair dogs, did not average over twelve or fifteen birds to the gun. Many of these were the old ones, or very young ones. Late burning of the old grass in the spring destroyed large numbers of nests, and the hens laying again accounts for the predominance of quite young birds. The law in relation to chickens seems to have been pretty generally disregarded in this region, as the farmers encountered on the 15th stated that hunters had been shooting for nearly three weeks. Some coveys had been thinned down to the mother and one chick.
As corn seems to enter largely into the question of one's success in chicken shooting here—for in over half the cases every bird not brought down on the first rise darts into a field of this grain and is seen no more that day—let me say the prospect was never so good as in Nebraska to-day. It looks as if the State would produce enough for the world.
Burr H. Polk.