Birds of Nebraska: Newspaper Accounts, 1854-1923

February 14, 1897. [Protection of Game Birds.] Omaha Sunday Bee p. 7.

Omaha, Feburary 11.—To the Sporting Editor of The Bee: There seems to be no reference in your columns to house roll No. 27, by Grimes of Holt county, a bill introduced to prohibit in Nebraska the shooting of all kinds of feathered game for the term of five years. While perfectly willing to admit that the law would be attractive, if applied and actually enforced in regard to prairie chickens, I cannot concede that any necessity, expediency or advisability exists for the protection of the principal game, ducks, geese and quail. The Nebraska quail, while a hardy bird, capable of enduring almost any class of weather, still succumbs in large numbers to the effects of snow and ice combined, and the increase and propagation of this desirable game bird has been very little regarded by the onslaught of city and country sportsmen. The present game law, while covering a great many defects, is a dead letter and always will be without the provision of a game warden, whose duty if should be to see that the law is properly enforced.

There is certainly no good argument that can be presented whereby the game in the state will be increased or propagated to any material extent by the introduction of this new law to prohibit game shooting in the state for five years. There seems to be a general spirit of lassitude and inactivity among all Nebraska sportsmen, not only about the laws about to be presented to the legislature, but also about the present law. There is scarcely a hotel or restaurant of any importance anywhere in the state that, since the law expired on January 1, has not offered on its bill of fare quail and prairie chicken and there is yet to be recorded a single effort on the part of any one to prosecute the violators.

Will the sportsmen of Nebraska continue so entirely indifferent or is the time at hand when they will awake from their lethargy and arrange some plan among themselves for a reasonable enforcement of the game laws of the state? There are only eight months in the year when the services of a game warden would really be required and if there were fifty sportsmen in the state who would subscribe $1 a month for those eight months a competent man could be obtained to devote a large part of his time to seeing that our game birds are reasonably protected and a campaign properly conducted against the offenders would do more to increase the game in our state than the enactment of a dozen bills in the legislature without the appointment of a game warden and deputies. I will be the first of the fifty to subscribe $1 per month for eight months, commencing January 1, 1897. Who says next?—Samaba.