Birds of Nebraska: Newspaper Accounts, 1854-1923

November 17, 1912. Omaha Sunday Bee 42(22): 4-S.

Fall Shooting is Not Good

Weather Has Not Been Good for Ducks and They are Gone.

Chickens are Also Scarce

Quail Season is at an End - Not Many Good Bags Made - Many Hunters Have Made Several Trials.

Although there has been no interruption of the beautiful fall weather we have been having, if we except the brief rain and snow flurry of last Tuesday night, there has been much improvement in the duck shooting, both along the rivers and on the sand hill marshes. The birds probably realize that a rough change is about to take place ere long, and have been coming down from the north in really good numbers even as early as the beginning of the week. On Sunday and Monday many more than fair bags were reported. The birds killed were largely mallards, with teal coming next, then bluebills, with occasional canvasback and redhead; but few geese were seen, and it is now quite certain that the season is going to be a poor one for those great birds, on to its close.

While the shooting has been an improvement on that of the previous month, it has not been might be called great, as it is quite certain that a large majority f the birds have already gone south in straggling small bunches, and generally in the night time. The prospects therefore are not good for any great influx to come. It is always this way during the long drawn out autumn seasons, no big flight at any time, only small bunches, off and on, and no really great shooting. It takes sudden, sharp, cold snaps, with the lakes partly frozen over, and raw winds blowing; these, mingled with warm, pleasant days, are sure to bring the northern birds down in great flights. Then the hunters have the time of their lives.

As for the chicken, they have been noticeable for their scarcity, and only a bird has been picked up now and then, more by accident than anything else. The chicken have bunched for the winter and it is useless to attempt to hunt them after this occurs, as they are wild and wary, and will lay for neither dog or man. But the season on all game, save the ever present cottontail, will soon be over, and the hunter might as well get ready to hang up his gun and wait for March winds to bring the birds back once more from the south.

On Marsh and Stubble.

Not much stock should be taken in the report that wild deer have recently been seen in both Cass and Washington counties. This is an old fairy tale that makes its annual debut in one paper or another.

George Green and the Falk boys of Calhoun made a fine kill of bluebills on the Stillwater flats Friday morning and evening. They also saw a good many redheads, but succeeded in bagging only two.

Sam Richmond, well known as a great duck hunter, and Charlie Dollarhide of Walbach, were down on the Loup on the Johnny Johnson bar Friday evening and killed six Canada geese and twenty-one mallards.

The usual Thanksgiving day old fashioned shooting match will be held at Townsend park over the river. Frank Lovering will be in charge and will have a big lot of turkeys, geese and chickens to be shot for.

Arthur Smith, Ward Burgess, George Loomis, Fred Montmorency and Billy Pixley put in a day along the middle of the week quail shooting out near Max, Neb. They found the birds scarce, but succeeded in bagging some fifty odd.

Dr. Frye, C.A. Lewis and W.A. Pixley, enjoyed a rather surprising little quail shoot Friday afternoon in the brush below Seymour lake over Mr. Pixley's matchless brace of English setters; they jumped two nice covies and got an even dozen birds.

One of the most successful of the fall ducking parties was the trio, H.D. Neely, O.H. Wirth and Dr. R.L. Bailey. They were out near Morrell, in Scott's Bluff county, and in a three days' shoot accumulated something like 120 birds, some of them mallards, but mostly widgeons, baldpates, spoonbills and ruddies.

Charley Metz has recently made another plant of black bass and crappie in his lake, the Three Springs, on his Cherry county game preserve. The plants that Mr. Metz has made in these waters during the last several years are thriving finely and he will have good bass fishing there before many years roll away.

The open chicken will reach an end one week from Saturday next, November 30. The season, especially during its first month, September, was fairly good, although city sportsmen found poor picking, the bulk of the young birds having been killed off before the lawful season opened. The shooting was poor during OCtober and worse in September.

There was a congenial party of veteran duck hunters, guests of Charles Metz at his famous shooting lodge, "The Merganzer" out in Cherry county the last week, including J.J. Deright, John (Dad) Weaver, Dr. Van Camp, Lee McGreer, Sandy Griswold, Albert Cahn and Arthur Metz. They enjoyed some rare sport on mallards and widgeons, some little grouse shooting and good perch fishing.

Friday was the last day of quail shooting for the year 1912. The season was a poor one, birds being found in no considerable numbers anywhere. Diligent inquiry developed that the biggest bag was made by Bill Francke of Valentine and a Chicago friend. They were down in the Niobrara valley Wednesday and came in with an even forty-eight birds. Bill Francke is said to be the greatest field shot in Nebraska and on wild fowl he has few equals in the country.