Large Mammals Completely Exterminated

The Arizona Elk, (Cervus merriami). —Right at our very door, under our very noses and as it were only yesterday, a well-defined species of American elk has been totally exterminated. Until recently the mountains of Arizona and New Mexico were inhabited by a light-colored elk of smaller size than the Wyoming species, whose antlers possessed on each side only one brow tine instead of two. The exact history of the blotting out of that species has not yet been written, but it seems that its final extinction occurred about 1901. Its extermination was only a routine incident of the devilish general slaughter of American big game that by 1900 had wiped out nearly everything killable over a large portion of the Rocky Mountain region and the Great Plains.

The Arizona elk was exterminated before the separate standing of the species had been discovered by naturalists, and before even one skin had been preserved in a museum! In 1902 Mr. E.W. Nelson described the species from two male skulls, all the material of which he knew. Since that time, a third male skull, bearing an excellent pair of antlers, has been discovered by Mr. Ferdinand Kaegebehn, a member of the New York Zoological Society, and presented to our National Collection of Heads and Horns. It came from the Santa Catalina Mountains, Arizona, in 1884. The species was first exterminated in the central and northern mountains of Arizona, probably twenty years ago, and made its last stand in northwestern New Mexico. Precisely when it became extinct there, its last abiding place, we do not know, but in time the facts may appear.

The Quagga, (Equus quagga). —Before the days of Livingstone, Gordon-Cumming and Anderson, the grassy plains and half-forested hills of South Africa were inhabited by great herds of a wild equine species that in its markings was a sort of connecting link between the striped zebras and the stripeless wild asses. The quagga resembled a wild ass with a few zebra stripes around its neck, and no stripes elsewhere.

There is no good reason why a mammal that is not in any one of the families regularly eaten by man should be classed as a game animal. White men, outside of the western border of the continent of Europe, do not eat horses; and by this token there is no reason why a zebra should be shot as a "game" animal, any more than a baboon. A big male baboon is dangerous; a male zebra is not.

Nevertheless, white men have elected to shoot zebras as game; and under this curse the unfortunate quagga fell to rise no more. The species was shot to a speedy death by sportsmen, and by the British and Dutch farmers of South Africa. It became extinct about 1875, and to-day there are only 18 specimens in all the museums of the world.

The Blaubok, (Hippotragus leucophaeus). —The first of the African antelopes to become extinct in modern times was a species of large size, closely related to the roan antelope of to-day, and named by the early Dutch settlers of Cape Colony the blaubok, which means "blue-buck." It was snuffed out of existence in the year 1800, so quickly and so thoroughly that, like the Arizona elk, it very nearly escaped the annals of natural history. According to the careful investigations of Mr. Graham Renshaw, there are only eight specimens in existence in all the museums of Europe. In general terms it may be stated that this species has been extinct for about a century.

David's Deer (Elaphurus davidianus). —We enter this species with those that are totally extinct, because this is true of it so far as its wild state is concerned. It is a deer nearly as large as the red deer of Europe, with 3-tined antlers about equal in total length to those of the red deer. Its most striking differential character is its long tail, a feature that among the deer of the world is quite unique.

Originally this species inhabited "northern Mongolia" (China), but in a wild state it became extinct before its zoological standing became known to the scientific world. The species was called to the attention of zoologists by a Roman Catholic missionary, called Father David, and when finally described it was named in his honor.

At the outbreak of the Boxer Rebellion, in 1900, there were about 200 specimens living in the imperial park of China, a short distance south of Pekin; but during the rebellion, all of them were killed and eaten, thus totally exterminating the species from Asia.

Fortunately, previous to that calamity (in 1894), the Duke of Bedford had by considerable effort and expenditure procured and established in his matchless park surrounding Woburn Abbey, England, a herd of eighteen specimens of this rarest of all deer. That nucleus has thriven and increased, until in 1910 it contained thirty-four head. Owing to the fact that all the living female specimens of this remarkable species are concentrated in one spot, and perfectly liable to be wiped out in one year by riot, war or disease, there is some cause for anxiety. The writer has gone so far as to suggest the desirability of starting a new herd of David's deer, at some point far distant from England, as an insurance measure against the possibility of calamity at Woburn. Excepting two or three specimens in European zoological gardens that have been favored by the Duke of Bedford, there are no living specimens outside of Woburn Park.


In the United States National Museum

The Rhytina, (Rhytina gigas). —The most northerly Sirenian that (so far as we know) ever inhabited the earth, lived on the Commander Islands in the northern end of Behring Sea, and was exterminated by man, for its oil and its flesh, about 1768. It was first made known to the world by Steller, in 1741, and must have become extinct near the beginning of the nineteenth century.

The rhytina belonged to the same mammalian Order as the manatee of Florida and South America, and the dugong of Australia. The largest manatee that Florida has produced, so far as we know, was thirteen feet long. The rhytina attained a length of between thirty and thirty-five feet, and a weight of 6,000 pounds or over. The flesh of this animal, like that of the manatee and dugong, must have been edible, and surely was prized by the hungry sailors and natives of its time. It is not strange that such a species was quickly exterminated by man, in the arctic regions. The wonder is that it ever existed at a latitude so outrageous for a Sirenian, an animal which by all precedents should prefer life in temperate or warm waters.


Now Believed to be Totally Extinct

Burchell's Zebra, (Equus burchelli typicus). —The foundation type of what now is the Burchell group of zebras, consisting of four or five sub-species of the original species of burchelli, is an animal abundantly striped as to its body, neck and head, but with legs that are almost white and free from stripes. The sub-species have legs that are striped about half as much as the mountain zebra and the Grevy species.

While there are Chapman zebras and Grant zebras in plenty, and of Crawshay's not a few, all these are forms that have developed northward of the range of the parent species, the original Equus burchelli. For half a century in South Africa the latter had been harried and driven and shot, and now it is gone, forever. Now, the museum people of the world are hungrily enumerating their mounted specimens, and live ones cannot be procured with money, because there are none! Already it is common talk that "the true Burchell zebra is extinct;" and unfortunately there is no good reason to doubt it. Even if there are a few now living in some remote nook of the Transvaal, or Zululand, or Portuguese East Africa, the chances are as 100 to 1 that they will not be suffered to bring back the species; and so, to Burchell's zebra, the world is to-day saying "Farewell!"


Now Being Exterminated by the Sheep Owners of Tasmania

Species Of Large Mammals Almost Extinct

The Thylacine Or Tasmanian Wolf, (Thylacinus cynocephalus). — Four years ago, when Mr. W.H.D. Le Souef, Director of the Melbourne Zoological Garden (Australia), stood before the cage of the living thylacine in the New York Zoological Park, he first expressed surprise at the sight of the animal, then said:

"I advise you to take excellent care of that specimen; for when it is gone, you never will get another. The species soon will be extinct."

This opinion has been supported, quite independently, by a lady who is the highest authority on the present status of that species, Mrs. Mary G. Roberts, of Hobart, Tasmania. For nearly ten years Mrs. Roberts has been procuring all the living specimens of the thylacine that money could buy, and attempting to breed them at her private zoo. She states that the mountain home of this animal is now occupied by flocks of sheep, and because of the fact that the "Tasmanian wolves" raid the flocks and kill lambs, the sheep-owners and herders are systematically poisoning the thylacines as fast as possible. Inasmuch as the species is limited to Tasmania, Mrs. Roberts and others fear that the sheepmen will totally exterminate the remnant at an early date. This animal is the largest and also the most interesting carnivorous marsupial of Australia, and its untimely end will be a cause for sincere regret.


In the New York Aquarium

The West Indian Seal, (Monachus tropicalis). —For at least fifty years, all the zoologists who ever had heard of this species believed that the oil-hunters had completely exterminated it. In 1885, when the National Museum came into possession of one poorly-mounted skin, from Professor Poey, of Havana, it was regarded as a great prize.

Most unexpectedly, in 1886 American zoologists were startled by the discovery of a small herd on the Triangle Islands, in the Caribbean Sea, near Yucatan, by Mr. Henry L. Ward, now director of the Milwaukee Public Museum, and Professor Ferrari, of the National Museum of Mexico. They found about twenty specimens, and collected only a sufficient number to establish the true character of the species.

Since that time, four living specimens have been captured, and sent to the New York Aquarium, where they lived for satisfactory periods. The indoor life and atmosphere did not seem to injure the natural vitality of the animals. In fact, I think they were far more lively in the Aquarium than were the sluggish creatures that Mr. Ward saw on the Triangle reefs, and described in his report of the expedition.

It is quite possible that there are yet alive a few specimens of this odd species; but the Damocletian sword of destruction hangs over them suspended by a fine hair, and it is to be expected that in the future some roving sea adventurer will pounce upon the Remnant, and wipe it out of existence for whatever reason may to him seem good.


Photographed on Guadalupe Island by C.H. Townsend.

The California Elephant Seal, (Mirounga angustirostris). —This remarkable long-snouted species of seal was reluctantly stricken from the fauna of the United States several years ago, and for at least fifteen years it has been regarded as totally extinct. Last year, however (1911), the Albatross scientific expedition, under the control of Director C.H. Townsend of the New York Aquarium, visited Guadalupe Island, 175 miles off the Pacific coast of Lower California and there found about 150 living elephant seals. They took six living specimens, all of which died after a few months in captivity. Ever since that time, first one person and then another comes to the front with a cheerful proposition to go to those islands and "clean up" all the remainder of those wonderful seals. One hunting party could land on Guadalupe, and in one week totally destroy the last remnant of this almost extinct species. To-day the only question is, Who will be mean enough to do it?

Fortunately, those seals have no commercial value whatsoever. The little oil they would yield would not pay the wages of cook's mate. The proven impossibility of keeping specimens alive in captivity, even for one year, and the absence of cash value in the skins, even for museum purposes, has left nothing of value in the animals to justify an expedition to kill or to capture them. No zoological garden or park desires any of them, at any price. Adult males attain a length of sixteen feet, and females eleven feet. Formerly this species was abundant in San Christobal Bay, Lower California.

At present, Mexico is in no frame of mind to provide real protection to a small colony of seals of no commercial value, 175 miles from her mainland, on an uninhabited island. It is wildly improbable that those seals will be permitted to live. It is a safe prediction that our next news of the elephant seals of Guadalupe will tell of the total extinction of those last 140 survivors of the species.

The California Grizzly Bear, (Ursus horribilis californicus). —No one protects grizzly bears, except in the Yellowstone Park and other game preserves. For obvious reasons, it is impossible to say whether any individuals of this huge species now remain alive, or how long it will be until the last one falls before a .405 Winchester engine of extermination. We know that a living specimen can not be procured with money, and we believe that "Old Monarch" now in Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, is the last specimen of his species that ever will be exhibited alive.

I can think of no reason, save general Californian apathy, why the extinction of this huge and remarkable animal was not prevented by law. The sunset grizzly (on a railroad track) is the advertising emblem of the Golden State, and surely the state should take sufficient interest in the species to prevent its total extermination.

But it will not. California is hell-bent on exterminating a long list of her wild-life species, and it is very doubtful whether the masses can be reached and aroused in time to stop it. Name some of the species? Certainly; with all the pleasure in life: The band-tailed pigeon, the white-tailed kite, the sharp-tailed grouse, the sage grouse, the mountain sheep, prong-horned antelope, California mule deer, and ducks and geese too numerous to mention.


Early in 1912 I addressed to about 250 persons throughout the United States, three questions, as follows:

  1. What species of birds have become totally extinct in your state?
  2. What species of birds and mammals are threatened with early extinction?
  3. What species of mammals have been exterminated throughout your state?

These queries were addressed to persons whose tastes and observations rendered them especially qualified to furnish the information desired. The interest shown in the inquiry was highly gratifying. The best of the information given is summarized below; but this tabulation also includes much information acquired from other sources. The general summary of the subject will, I am sure, convince all thoughtful persons that the present condition of the best wild life of the nation is indeed very grave. This list is not submitted as representing prolonged research or absolute perfection, but it is sufficient to point forty-eight morals.

Birds And Mammals That Have Been Totally Exterminated In Various States And Provinces

Passenger pigeon, Carolina parrakeet; puma, elk, gray wolf, beaver.


Ridgway's quail (Colinus ridgwayi); Arizona elk (Cervus merriami), bison.


Passenger pigeon, Carolina parrakeet, whooping crane; bison, elk, beaver.


No birds totally extinct, but several nearly so; grizzly bear (?), elephant seal.


Carolina parrakeet, whooping crane; bison.


Passenger pigeon, Eskimo curlew, great auk, Labrador duck, upland plover, heath hen, wild turkey; puma, gray wolf, Canada lynx, black bear, elk.


Wild turkey, ruffed grouse, passenger pigeon, heath hen, dickcissel, whooping crane, Carolina parrakeet; white-tailed deer, black bear, gray wolf, beaver, Canada lynx, puma.


Flamingo, roseate spoonbill, scarlet ibis, Carolina parrakeet, passenger pigeon.


Passenger pigeon, Carolina parrakeet, whooping crane, trumpeter swan; bison, elk, beaver, gray wolf, puma.—(Last 3, Craig D. Arnold.)


Wood duck, long-billed curlew, whooping crane; bison.—(Dr. C.S. Moody.)


Passenger pigeon, whooping crane, Carolina parrakeet, trumpeter swan, snowy egret, Eskimo curlew; bison, elk, white-tailed deer, black bear, puma, Canada lynx.


Passenger pigeon, whooping crane, northern raven, wild turkey, ivory-billed woodpecker, Carolina parrakeet, trumpeter swan, snowy egret, Eskimo curlew; bison, elk, white-tailed deer, black bear, Canada lynx, beaver, porcupine.—(Amos W. Butler.)


Wild turkey, Eskimo curlew, whooping crane, trumpeter swan, white pelican, passenger pigeon; bison, elk, antelope, white-tailed deer, black bear, puma, Canada lynx, gray wolf, beaver, porcupine.


American scaup duck, woodcock, ruffed grouse, wild turkey, pileated woodpecker, parrakeet, white-necked raven, American raven (all Prof. L.L. Dyche); golden plover, Eskimo curlew, Hudsonian curlew, wood-duck (C.H. Smyth and James Howard, Wichita). Bison, elk, mule deer, white-tailed deer, gray wolf, beaver (?), otter, lynx (?) (L.L.D.)

(Reports as complete and thorough as these for other localities no doubt would show lists equally long for several other states.—(W.T.H.))


Passenger pigeon, parrakeet; bison, elk, puma, beaver, gray wolf.


Passenger pigeon, Carolina parrakeet, Eskimo curlew, flamingo, scarlet ibis, roseate spoonbill; bison, ocelot.


Great auk, Labrador duck, Eskimo curlew, oystercatcher, wild turkey, heath hen, passenger pigeon; puma, gray wolf, wolverine, caribou.—(All Arthur H. Norton, Portland.)


Sandhill crane, parrakeet, passenger pigeon; bison, elk, beaver, gray wolf, puma, porcupine.


Wild turkey, passenger pigeon, Labrador duck, whooping crane, sandhill crane, black-throated bunting, great auk, Eskimo curlew.—(William Brewster, W.P. Wharton); Canada lynx, gray wolf, black bear, moose, elk.


Passenger pigeon, wild turkey, sandhill crane, whooping crane, bison, elk, wolverine.


Whooping crane, white pelican, trumpeter swan, passenger pigeon, bison, elk, mule deer, antelope.

A strange condition exists in Minnesota, as will be seen by reference to the next list of states. A great many species are on the road to speedy extermination; but as yet the number of those that have become totally extinct up to date is small.


Parrakeet, passenger pigeon; bison. (Data incomplete.)


Parrakeet, ivory-billed woodpecker, passenger pigeon, whooping crane, pinnated grouse; bison, elk, beaver.


Although many Montana birds are on the verge of extinction, the only species that we are sure have totally vanished are the passenger pigeon and whooping crane. Mammals extinct, bison.


Curlew, wild turkey, parrakeet, passenger pigeon, whooping crane, and no doubt all the other species that have disappeared from Kansas. Mammals: bison, antelope, elk, and mule deer.


By a rather odd combination of causes and effects, Nevada retains representatives of nearly all her original outfit of bird and mammal species except the bison and elk; but several of them will shortly become extinct.

New Hampshire:

Wild turkey, heath hen, pigeon, whooping crane, Eskimo curlew, upland plover, Labrador duck; woodland caribou, moose.

New Jersey:

Heath hen, wild turkey, pigeon, parrakeet, Eskimo curlew, Labrador duck, snowy egret, whooping crane, sandhill crane, trumpeter swan, pileated woodpecker; gray wolf, black bear, beaver, elk, porcupine, puma.

New Mexico:

Notwithstanding an enormous decrease in the general volume of wild life in New Mexico, comparatively few species have been totally exterminated. The most important are the bison and Arizona elk.

New York:

Heath hen, passenger pigeon, wild turkey, great auk, trumpeter swan, Labrador duck, harlequin duck, Eskimo curlew, upland plover, golden plover, whooping crane, sandhill crane, purple martin, pileated woodpecker, moose, caribou, bison, elk, puma, gray wolf, wolverine, marten, fisher, beaver, fox, squirrel, harbor seal.

North Carolina:

Ivory-billed woodpecker, parrakeet, pigeon, roseate spoonbill, long-billed curlew (Numenius americanus), Eskimo curlew; bison, elk, gray wolf, puma, beaver.—(E.L. Ewbank, T. Gilbert Pearson, H.H. and C.S. Brimley.)

North Dakota:

Whooping crane, long-billed curlew, Hudsonian godwit, passenger pigeon; bison, elk, mule deer, mountain sheep.—(W.B. Bell and Alfred Eastgate.)


Pigeon, wild turkey, pinnated grouse, northern pileated woodpecker, parrakeet; white-tailed deer, bison, elk, black bear, puma, gray wolf, beaver, otter, puma, lynx.


Records for birds insufficient. Mammals: bison, elk, antelope, mule deer, puma, black bear.


The only species known to have been wholly exterminated during recent times is the California condor and the bison, both of which were rare stragglers into Oregon; but a number of species are now close to extinction.


Heath hen, pigeon, parrakeet, Labrador duck; bison, elk, moose, puma, gray wolf, Canada lynx, wolverine, beaver.—(Witmer Stone, Dr. C.B. Penrose and Arthur Chapman.)

Rhode Island:

Heath hen, passenger pigeon, wild turkey, least tern, eastern willet, Eskimo curlew, marbled godwit, long-billed curlew.—(Harry S. Hathaway); puma, black bear, gray wolf, beaver, otter, wolverine.

South Carolina:

Ivory-billed woodpecker, Carolina parrakeet; bison, elk, puma, gray wolf.—(James H. Rice, Jr.)

South Dakota:

Whooping crane, trumpeter swan, pigeon, long-billed curlew; bison, elk, mule deer, mountain sheep.


Records insufficient.


Wild turkey, passenger pigeon, ivory-billed woodpecker, flamingo, roseate spoonbill, American egret, whooping crane, wood-duck; bison, elk, mountain sheep, antelope, "a small, dark deer that lived 40 years ago." (Capt. M.B. Davis.)


Records insufficient.


Records insufficient.


Very few species have become totally extinct, but a number are on the verge, and will be named in the next state schedule.

West Virginia:

Pigeon, parrakeet; bison, elk, beaver, puma, gray wolf.


Whooping crane, passenger pigeon, American egret, wild turkey, Carolina parrakeet; bison, moose, elk, woodland caribou, puma, wolverine.


Whooping crane, trumpeter swan, wood-duck; mountain goat.


Passenger pigeon, whooping crane; bison.

British Columbia:

A. Bryan Williams reports: "Do not know of any birds having become extinct."


Pigeon; bison, antelope, gray wolf.

New Brunswick:


Nova Scotia:

Labrador duck, Eskimo curlew, passenger pigeon.


Wild turkey, pigeon, Eskimo curlew.

Prince Edward Island:

(Reported by E.T. Carbonell): Eskimo curlew, horned grebe, ring-billed gull, Caspian tern, passenger pigeon, Wilson's petrel, wood-duck, Barrow's golden-eye, whistling swan, American eider, white-fronted goose, purple sandpiper, Canada grouse, long-eared owl, screech owl, black-throated bunting, pine warbler, red-necked grebe, purple martin and catbird; beaver, black fox, silver gray fox, marten and black bear.




Pigeon; bison.

Birds And Mammals Threatened With Extinction

The second question submitted in my inquiry produced results even more startling than the first. None of the persons reporting can be regarded as alarmists, but some of the lists of species approaching extinction are appallingly long. To their observations I add other notes and observations of interest at this time.


Wood-duck, snowy egret, woodcock. "The worst enemy of wild life is the pot-hunter and game hog. These wholesale slaughterers of game resort to any device and practice, it matters not how murderous, to accomplish the pernicious ends of their nefarious campaign of relentless extermination of fur and feather. They cannot be controlled by local laws, for these after having been tried for several generations have proven consummate failures, for the reason that local authorities will not enforce the provisions of game and bird protective statutes. Experience has demonstrated the fact that no one desires to inform voluntarily on his neighbors, and since breaking the game law is not construed to involve moral turpitude, even to an infinitesimal degree, by many of our citizens, the plunderers of nature's storehouse thus go free, it matters not how great the damage done to the people as a whole."—(John H. Wallace, Jr., Game Commissioner of Alabama.)


Thanks to geographic and climatic conditions, the Alaskan game laws and $15,000 with which to enforce them, the status of the wild life of Alaska is fairly satisfactory. I think that at present no species is in danger of extinction in the near future. When it was pointed out to Congress in 1902, by Madison Grant, T.S. Palmer and others that the wild life of Alaska was seriously threatened, Congress immediately enacted the law that was recommended, and now appropriates yearly a fair sum for its enforcement. I regard the Alaskan situation as being, for so vast and difficult a region, reasonably well in hand, even though open to improvement.

There is one fatal defect in our Alaskan game law, in the perpetual and sweeping license to kill, that is bestowed upon "natives" and "prospectors." Under cover of this law, the Indians can slaughter game to any extent they choose; and they are great killers. For example: In 1911 at Sand Point, Kenai Peninsula, Frank E. Kleinchmidt saw 82 caribou tongues in the boat of a native, that had been brought in for sale at 50 cents, while the carcasses were left where they fell, to poison the air of Alaska. Thanks to the game law, and five wardens, the number of big game animals killed last year in Alaska by sportsmen was reasonably small,—just as it should have been.—(W.T.H.)


During an overland trip made by Dr. MacDougal and others in 1907 from Tucson to Sonoyta, on the international boundary, 150 miles and back again, we saw not one antelope or deer.—(W.T.H.)


Swan, white heron, bronze ibis. California valley quail are getting very scarce, and unless adequate protection is afforded them shortly, they will be found hereafter only in remote districts. Ducks also are decreasing rapidly.—(H.W. Keller, Los Angeles.)

Sage grouse and Columbian sharp-tailed grouse are so nearly extinct that it may practically be said that they are extinct. Among species likely to be exterminated in the near future are the wood-duck and band-tailed pigeon.—(W.P. Taylor, Berkeley.)


Sage grouse and sharp-tailed grouse; nearly all the shore birds.


All the shore birds; quail, purple martin.


Wood duck, upland plover, least tern, Wilson tern, roseate tern, black skimmer, oystercatcher, and numerous other littoral species. Pileated woodpeckers, bald eagles and all the ducks are much more rare than formerly. Swan are about gone, geese scarce. The list of ducks, geese and shore-birds, as well as of terns and gulls that are nearing extinction is appalling.—(C.J. Pennock, Wilmington.)

Wood-duck, woodcock, turtle dove and bob-white.—(A.R. Spaid, Wilmington.)


Limpkin, ivory-billed woodpecker, wild turkey (?).


Ruffed grouse, wild turkey.


Harlequin duck, mountain plover, dusky grouse, Columbian sharp-tailed grouse, sage grouse. Elk, goats and grizzly bears are becoming very scarce. Of the smaller animals I have not seen a fisher for years, and marten are hardly to be found. The same is true of other species.—(Dr. Charles S. Moody, Sand Point.)


Pinnated grouse, except where rigidly protected. In Vermillion County, by long and persistent protection Harvey J. Sconce has bred back upon his farm about 400 of these birds.


Pileated woodpecker, woodcock, ruffed grouse, pigeon hawk, duck hawk.—(Amos W. Butler, Indianapolis.)

In northern and northwestern Indiana, a perpetual close season and rigid protection have enabled the almost-extinct pinnated grouse to breed up to a total number now estimated by Game Commissioner Miles and his wardens at 10,000 birds. This is a gratifying illustration of what can be done in bringing back an almost-vanished species. The good example of Indiana should be followed by every state that still possesses a remnant of prairie-chickens, or other grouse.


Pinnated grouse, wood-duck. Notwithstanding an invasion of Jasper County, Iowa, in the winter of 1911-12 by hundreds of pinnated grouse, such as had not been known in 20 years, this gives no ground to hope that the future of the species is worth a moment's purchase. The winter migration came from the Dakotas, and was believed to be due to the extra severe winter, and the scarcity of food. Commenting on this unprecedented occurrence, J.L. Sloanaker in the "Wilson Bulletin" No. 78, says:

"In the opinion of many, the formerly abundant prairie chicken is doomed to early extinction. Many will testify to their abundance in those years [in South Dakota, 1902] when the great land movement was taking place. The influx of hungry settlers, together with an occasional bad season, decimated their ranks. They were eaten by the farmers, both in and out of season. Driven from pillar to post, with no friends and insufficient food,—what else then can be expected?"

Mr. F.C. Pellett, of Atlantic, Iowa, says: "Unless ways can be devised of rearing these birds in the domestic state, the prairie hen in my opinion is doomed to early extinction."

The older inhabitants here say that there is not one song-bird in summer where there used to be ten.—(G.H. Nicol, in Outdoor Life March, 1912.)


To all of those named in my previous list that are not actually extinct, I might add the prairie hen, the lesser prairie hen, as well as the prairie sharp-tailed grouse and the wood-duck. Such water birds as the avocets, godwits, greater yellow-legs, long-billed curlew and Eskimo curlew are becoming very rare. All the water birds that are killed as game birds have been greatly reduced in numbers during the past 25 years. I have not seen a wood-duck in 5 years. The prairie chicken has entirely disappeared from this locality. A few are still seen in the sand hills of western Kansas, and they are still comparatively abundant along the extreme southwestern line, and in northern Oklahoma and the Texas panhandle.—(C.H. Smyth, Wichita.)

Yellow-legged plover, golden plover; Hudsonian and Eskimo curlew, prairie chicken.—(James Howard, Wichita.)


Ivory-billed woodpecker, butterball, bufflehead. The wood-duck is greatly diminishing every year, and if not completely protected, ten years hence no wood-duck will be found in Louisiana.—(Frank M. Miller, and G.E. Beyer, New Orleans.)

Ivory-billed woodpecker, sandhill crane, whooping crane, pinnated grouse, American and snowy egret where unprotected.—(E.A. McIlhenny, Avery Island.)


Wood-duck, upland plover, purple martin, house wren, pileated woodpecker, bald eagle, yellow-legs, great blue heron, Canada goose, redhead and canvasback duck.—(John F. Sprague, Dover.)

Puffin, Leach's petrel, eider duck, laughing gull, great blue heron, fish-hawk and bald eagle.—(Arthur H. Norton, Portland.)


Curlew, pileated woodpecker, summer duck, snowy heron. No record of sandhill crane for the last 35 years. Greater yellow-leg is much scarcer than formerly, also Bartramian sandpiper. The only two birds which show an increase in the past few years are the robin and lesser scaup. General protection of the robin has caused its increase; stopping of spring shooting in the North has probably caused the increase of the latter. As a general proposition I think I can say that all birds are becoming scarcer in this state, as we have laws that do not protect, little enforcement of same, no revenue for bird protection and too little public interest. We are working to change all this, but it comes slowly. The public fails to respond until the birds are 'most gone, and we have a pretty good lot of game still left. The members of the Order Gallinae are only holding their own where privately protected. The members of the Plover Family and what are known locally as shore birds are still plentiful on the shores of Chincoteague and Assateague, and although they do not breed there as formerly, so far as I know there are no species exterminated.—(Talbott Denmead, Baltimore.)


Wood-duck, hooded merganser, blue-winged teal, upland plover; curlew (perhaps already gone); red-tailed hawk (I have not seen one in Middlesex County for several years); great horned owl (almost gone in my county, Middlesex); house wren. The eave swallows and purple martins are fast deserting eastern Massachusetts and the barn swallows steadily diminishing in numbers. The bald eagle should perhaps be included here. I seldom see or hear of it now.—(William Brewster, Cambridge.)

Upland plover, woodcock, wood-duck (recent complete protection is helping these somewhat), heath hen, piping plover, golden plover, a good many song and insectivorous birds are apparently decreasing rather rapidly; for instance, the eave swallow.—(William P. Wharton, Groton.)


Wood-duck, limicolae, woodcock, sandhill crane. The great whooping crane is not a wild bird, but I think it is now practically extinct. Many of our warblers and song birds are now exceedingly rare. Ruffed grouse greatly decreased during the past 10 years.—(W.B. Mershon, Saginaw.)


The sandhill crane has been killed by sportsmen. I have not seen one in three years. Where there were, a few years ago, thousands of blue herons, egrets, wood ducks, redbirds, and Baltimore orioles, all those birds are now almost extinct in this state. They are being killed by Austrians and Italians, who slaughter everything that flies or moves. Robins, too, will be a rarity if more severe penalties are not imposed. I have seized 22 robins, 1 pigeon hawk, 1 crested log-cock, 4 woodpeckers and 1 grosbeak in one camp, at the Lertonia mine, all being prepared for eating. I have also caught them preparing and eating sea gulls, terns, blue heron, egret and even the bittern. I have secured 128 convictions since the first of last September.—(George E. Wood, Game Warden, Hibbing, Minnesota.)

From Robert Page Lincoln, Minneapolis.—Partridge are waning fast, quail gradually becoming extinct, prairie chickens almost extinct. Duck-shooting is rare. The gray squirrel is fast becoming extinct in Minnesota. Mink are going fast, and fur-bearing animals generally are becoming extinct. The game is passing so very rapidly that it will soon be a thing of the forgotten past. The quail are suffering most. The falling off is amazing, and inconceivable to one who has not looked it up. Duck-shooting is rare, the clubs are idle for want of birds. What ducks come down fly high, being harassed coming down from the north. I consider the southern Minnesota country practically cleaned out.


The birds threatened with extermination are the American woodcock, wood-duck, snowy egret, pinnated grouse, wild turkey, ruffed grouse, golden eagle, bald eagle, pileated woodpecker.


Blue grouse.—(Henry Avare, Helena.)

Sage grouse, prairie and Columbian sharp-tailed grouse, trumpeter swan, Canada goose, in fact, most of the water-fowl. The sickle-billed curlew, of which there were many a few years ago, is becoming scarce. There are no more golden or black-bellied plover in these parts.—(Harry P. Stanford, Kalispell.)

Curlew, Franklin grouse (fool hen) and sage grouse.—W.R. Felton, Miles City.

Sage grouse.—(L.A. Huffman, Miles City.)

Ptarmigan, wood-duck, sharp-tailed grouse, sage grouse, fool hen and plover. All game birds are becoming scarce as the country becomes settled and they are confined to uninhabited regions.—(Prof. M.J. Elrod, Missoula.)


Grouse, prairie chicken and quail.—(H.N. Miller, Lincoln.)

Whistling swan.—(Dr. S.G. Towne, Omaha.)

New Hampshire:

Wood-duck and upland plover.

New York:

Quail, woodcock, upland plover, golden plover, black-bellied plover, willet, dowitcher, red-breasted sandpiper, long-billed curlew, wood-duck, purple martin, redheaded woodpecker, mourning dove; gray squirrel, otter.

New Jersey:

Ruffed grouse, teal, canvasback, red-head duck, widgeon, and all species of shore birds, the most noticeable being black-bellied plover, dowitcher, golden plover, killdeer, sickle-bill curlew, upland plover and English snipe; also the mourning dove.—(James M. Stratton and Ernest Napier, Trenton.)

Upland plover, apparently killdeer, egret, wood-duck, woodcock, and probably others.—(B.S. Bowdish, Demarest.)

North Carolina:

Forster's tern, oystercatcher, egret and snowy egret.—(T. Gilbert Pearson, Sec. Nat. Asso. Audubon Societies.)

Ruffed grouse rapidly disappearing; bobwhite becoming scarce.—(E.L. Ewbank, Hendersonville.)

Perhaps American and snowy egret. If long-billed curlew is not extinct, it seems due to become so. No definite, reliable record of it later than 1885.—(H.H. Brimley, Raleigh.)

North Dakota:

Wood-duck, prairie hen, upland plover, sharp-tailed grouse, canvas-back, pinnated and ruffed grouse, double-crested cormorant, blue heron, long-billed curlew, whooping crane and white pelican.—(W.B. Bell, Agricultural College.)

Upland plover, marbled godwit, Baird's sparrow, chestnut-collared longspur.—(Alfred Eastgate, Tolna.)


White heron, pileated woodpecker (if not already extinct). White heron reported a number of times last year; occurrences in Sandusky, Huron, Ashtabula and several other counties during 1911. These birds would doubtless rapidly recruit under a proper federal law.—(Paul North, Cleveland.)

Turtle dove, quail, red-bird, wren, hummingbird, wild canary [goldfinch] and blue bird.—(Walter C. Staley, Dayton.)


Pinnated grouse.—(J.C. Clark); otter, kit fox, black-footed ferret.—(G.W. Stevens.)


American egret, snowy egret.—(W.L. Finley, Portland.)


Virginia partridge and woodcock.—(Arthur Chapman.)

Wood-duck, least bittern, phalarope, woodcock, duck hawk and barn swallow.—(Dr. Chas. B. Penrose.)

Wild turkey; also various transient and straggling water birds.—(Witmer Stone.)

Rhode Island:

Wood-duck, knot, greater yellow-legs, upland plover, golden plover, piping plover, great horned owl.—(Harry S. Hathaway, South Auburn.)

South Carolina:

Wood duck, abundant 6 years ago, now almost gone. Wild turkey (abundant up to 1898); woodcock, upland plover, Hudsonian curlew, Carolina rail, Virginia rail, clapper rail and coot. Black bear verging on extinction, opossum dwindling rapidly.—(James H. Rice Jr., Summerville.)

South Dakota:

Prairie chicken and quail are most likely to become extinct in the near future.—(W.F. Bancroft, Watertown.)


Wild turkey and prairie chickens.—(J.D. Cox, Austin.)

Plover, all species; curlew, cardinal, road-runner, woodcock, wood-duck, canvas-back, cranes, all the herons; wild turkey; quail, all varieties; prairie chicken and Texas guan.—(Capt. M.B. Davis, Waco.)

Curlew, very rare; plover, very rare; antelope. (Answer applies to the Panhandle of Texas.—Chas. Goodnight.)

Everything [is threatened with extinction] save the dove, which is a migrating bird. Antelope nearly all gone.—(Col. O.C. Guessaz, San Antonio.)


Our wild birds are well protected, and there are none that are threatened with extinction. They are increasing.—(Fred. W. Chambers, State Game Warden, Salt Lake City.)


If all states afforded as good protection as does Vermont, none; but migrating birds like woodcock are now threatened.—(John W. Tilcomb, State Game Warden, Lyndonville.)


Pheasants (ruffed grouse), wild turkey and other game birds are nearly extinct. A few bears remain, and deer in small numbers in remote sections. In fact, all animals show great reduction in numbers, owing to cutting down forests, and constant gunning.—(L.T. Christian, Richmond.)

West Virginia:

Wood-duck, wild turkey, northern raven, dickcissel.—(Rev. Earle A. Brooks, Weston.)

Wild turkeys are very scarce, also ducks. Doves, once numerous, now almost nil. Eagles, except a few in remote fastnesses. Many native song-birds are retreating before the English sparrow.—(William Perry Brown, Glenville.)

Wood-duck and wild turkey.—(J.A. Viquesney, Belington.)


Double-crested cormorant, upland plover, white pelican, long-billed curlew, lesser snow goose, Hudsonian curlew, sandhill crane, golden plover, woodcock, dowitcher and long-billed duck; spruce grouse, knot, prairie sharp-tailed grouse, marbled godwit and bald eagle. All these, formerly abundant, must now be called rare in Wisconsin.—(Prof. George E. Wagner, Madison.)

Common tern, knot, American white pelican, Hudsonian godwit, trumpeter swan, long-billed curlew, snowy heron, Hudsonian curlew, American avocet, prairie sharp-tailed grouse, dowitcher, passenger pigeon. Long-billed dowitcher and northern hairy woodpecker.—(Henry L. Ward, Milwaukee Public Museum.)

Wood-duck, ruddy duck, black mallard, grebe or hell-diver, tern and woodcock.—(Fred. Gerhardt, Madison.)


Sage grouse and sharp-tailed grouse are becoming extinct, both in Wyoming and North Dakota. Sheridan and Johnson Counties (Wyoming) have sage grouse protected until 1915. The miners (mostly foreigners) are out after rabbits at all seasons. To them everything that flies, walks or swims, large enough to be seen, is a "rabbit." They are even worse than the average sheep-herder, as he will seldom kill a bird brooding her young, but to one of those men, a wren or creeper looks like a turkey. Antelope, mountain sheep and grizzly bears are going, fast! The moose season opens in 1915, for a 30 days open season, then close season until 1920.—(Howard Eaton, Wolf.)

Sage grouse, blue grouse, curlew, sandhill crane, porcupine practically extinct; wolverine and pine marten nearly all gone.—(S.N. Leek, Jackson's Hole.)


Swainson's buzzard and sandhill crane are now practically extinct. Elk and antelope will soon be as extinct as the buffalo.—(Arthur G. Wooley-Dod, Calgary.)

British Columbia:

Wild fowl are in the greatest danger in the southern part of the Province, especially the wood-duck. Otherwise birds are increasing rather than otherwise, especially the small non-game birds. The sea otter is almost extinct.—(A. Bryan Williams, Provincial Game Warden, Vancouver.)


Whooping crane, wood-duck and golden plover. Other species begin to show a marked increase, due to our stringent protective measures. For example, the pinnated grouse and sharp-tailed grouse are more plentiful than in 15 years. Prong-horned antelope and wolf are threatened with extinction.—(J.P. Turner, Winnipeg.)

The game birds indigenous to this Province are fairly plentiful. Though the prairie chicken was very scarce some few years ago, these birds have become very plentiful again, owing to the strict enforcement of our present "Game Act." The elk are in danger of becoming extinct if they are not stringently guarded. Beaver and otter were almost extinct some few years ago, but are now on the increase, owing to a strict enforcement of the "Game Act."—(Charles Barber, Winnipeg.)

New Brunswick:

Partridge, plover and woodcock. Moose and deer are getting more plentiful every year.—(W.W. Gerard, St. John.)

Nova Scotia:

The Canada grouse may possibly become extinct in Nova Scotia, unless the protection it now enjoys can save it. The American golden plover, which formerly came in immense flocks, is now very rare. Snowflakes are very much less common than formerly, but I think this is because our winters are now usually much less severe. The caribou is almost extinct on the mainland of Nova Scotia, but is still found in North Cape Breton Island. The wolf has become excessively rare, but as it is found in New Brunswick, it may occur here at any time again. The beaver had been threatened with extinction; but since being protected, it has multiplied, and is now on a fairly safe footing again.—(Curator of Museum, Halifax.)


Quail are getting scarce.—(E. Tinsley, Toronto.)

Wood-duck, bob white, woodcock, golden plover, Hudsonian curlew, knot and dowitcher [are threatened with extinction.]—(C.W. Nash, Toronto.)

Prince Edward Island:

The species threatened with extinction are the golden plover, American woodcock, pied-billed grebe, red-throated loon, sooty shearwater, gadwall, ruddy duck, black-crowned night heron, Hudsonian godwit, kildeer, northern pileated woodpecker, chimney swift, yellow-bellied flycatcher, red-winged blackbird, pine finch, magnolia warbler, ruby-crowned kinglet.—(E.T. Carbonell, Charlottetown.)

In closing the notes of this survey, I repeat my assurance that they are not offered on a basis of infallibility. It would require years of work to obtain answers from forty-eight states to the three questions that I have asked that could be offered as absolutely exact. All these reports are submitted on the well-recognized court-testimony basis,—"to the best of our knowledge and belief." Gathered as they have been from persons whose knowledge is good, these opinions are therefore valuable; and they furnish excellent indices of wild-life conditions as they exist in 1912 in the various states and provinces of North America north of Mexico.


In order to cure any disease, the surgeon must make of it a correct diagnosis. It is useless to try to prescribe remedies without a thorough understanding of the trouble.

That the best and most interesting wild life of America is disappearing at a rapid rate, we all know only too well. That proposition is entirely beyond the domain of argument. The fact that a species or a group of species has made a little gain here and there, or is stationary, does not sensibly diminish the force of the descending blow. The wild-life situation is full of surprises. For example, in 1902 I was astounded by the extent to which bird life had decreased over the 130 miles between Miles City, Montana, and the Missouri River since 1886; for there was no reason to expect anything of the kind. Even the jack rabbits and coyotes had almost totally disappeared.

The duties of the present hour, that fairly thrust themselves into our faces and will not be put aside, are these:

First,—To save valuable species from extermination!

Second,—To preserve a satisfactory representation of our once rich fauna, to hand down to Posterity.

Third,—To protect the farmer and fruit grower from the enormous losses that the destruction of our insectivorous and rodent-eating birds is now inflicting upon both the producer and consumer.

Fourth,—To protect our forests, by protecting the birds that keep down the myriads of insects that are destructive to trees and shrubs.

Fifth,—To preserve to the future sportsmen of America enough game and fish that they may have at least a taste of the legitimate pursuit of game in the open that has made life so interesting to the sportsmen of to-day.

For any civilized nation to exterminate valuable and interesting species of wild mammals, birds or fishes is more than a disgrace. It is a crime! We have no right, legal, moral or commercial, to exterminate any valuable or interesting species; because none of them belong to us, to exterminate or not, as we please.

For the people of any civilized nation to permit the slaughter of the wild birds that protect its crops, its fruits and its forests from the insect hordes, is worse than folly. It is sheer orneryness and idiocy. People who are either so lazy or asinine as to permit the slaughter of their best friends deserve to have their crops destroyed and their forests ravaged. They deserve to pay twenty cents a pound for their cotton when the boll weevil has cut down the normal supply.

It is very desirable that we should now take an inventory of the forces that have been, and to-day are, active in the destruction of our wild birds, mammals, and game fishes. During the past ten years a sufficient quantity of facts and figures has become available to enable us to secure a reasonably full and accurate view of the whole situation. As we pause on our hill-top, and survey the field of carnage, we find that we are reviewing the Army of Destruction!

It is indeed a motley array. We see true sportsmen beside ordinary gunners, game-hogs and meat hunters; handsome setter dogs are mixed up with coyotes, cats, foxes and skunks; and well-gowned women and ladies' maids are jostled by half-naked "poor-white" and black-negro "plume hunters."

Verily, the destruction of wild life makes strange companions.

Let us briefly review the several army corps that together make up the army of the destroyers. Space in this volume forbids an extended notice of each. Unfortunately it is impossible to segregate some of these classes, and number each one, for they merge together too closely for that; but we can at least describe the several classes that form the great mass of destroyers.

The Gentlemen Sportsmen. —These men are the very bone and sinew of wild life preservation. These are the men who have red blood in their veins, who annually hear the red gods calling, who love the earth, the mountains, the woods, the waters and the sky. These are the men to whom "the bag" is a matter of small importance, and to whom "the bag-limit" has only academic interest; because in nine cases out of ten they do not care to kill all that the law allows. The tenth and exceptional time is when the bag limit is "one." A gentleman sportsman is a man who protects game, stops shooting when he has "enough"—without reference to the legal bag-limit, and whenever a species is threatened with extinction, he conscientiously refrains from shooting it.

The true sportsmen of the world are the men who once were keen in the stubble or on the trail, but who have been halted by the general slaughter and the awful decrease of game. Many of them, long before a hair has turned gray, have hung up their guns forever, and turned to the camera. These are the men who are willing to hand out checks, or to leave their mirth and their employment and go to the firing line at their state capitols, to lock horns with the bull-headed killers of wild life who recognize no check or limit save the law.

These are the men who have done the most to put upon our statute books the laws that thus far have saved some of our American game from total annihilation, and who (so we firmly believe) will be chiefly instrumental in tightening the lines of protection around the remnant. These are the men who are making and stocking game preserves, public and private, great and small.

Drawn by Dan Beard


Each Year 2,642,274 Well-Armed Men Take the Field Against the Remnant of Wild Birds and Mammals In the United States

If you wish to know some of these men, I will tell you where to find a goodly number of them; and when you find them, you will also find that they are men you would enjoy camping with! Look in the membership lists of the Boone and Crockett Club, Camp-Fire Club of America, the Lewis and Clark Club of Pittsburgh, the New York State League, the Shikar Club of London, the Society for the Preservation of the Wild Fauna of the British Empire, the Massachusetts Fish and Game Protective Association, the Springfield (Mass.) Sportsmen's Association, the Camp-Fire Clubs of Detroit and Chicago, and the North American Fish and Game Protective Association.

There are other bodies of sportsmen that I would like to name, were space available, but to set down here a complete list is quite impossible.

The best and the most of the game-protective laws now in force in the United States and Canada were brought into existence through the initiative and efforts of the real sportsmen of those two nations. But for their activity, exerted on the right side, the settled portion of North America would to-day be an utterly gameless land! Even though the sportsmen have taken their toll of the wilds, they have made the laws that have saved a remnant of the game until 1912.

For all that, however, every man who still shoots game is a soldier in the Army of Destruction! There is no blinking that fact. Such men do not stand on the summit with the men who now protect the game and do not shoot at all! The millions of men who do not shoot, and who also do nothing to protect or preserve wild life, do not count! In this warfare they are merely ciphers in front of the real figures.

The Gunners, Who Kill To The Limit. —Out of the enormous mass of men who annually take up arms against the remnant of wild life, and are called "sportsmen," I believe that only one out of every 500 conscientiously stops shooting when game becomes scarce, and extinction is impending. All of the others feel that it is right and proper to kill all the game that they can kill up to the legal bag limit. It is the reasoning of Shylock:

"Justice demands it, and the law doth give it!"

Especially is this true of the men who pay their one dollar per year for a resident hunting license, and feel that in doing so they have done a great Big Thing!

This is a very deadly frame of mind. Ethically it is entirely wrong; and at least two million men and boys who shoot American game must be shown that it is wrong! This is the spirit of Extermination, clothed in the robes of Law and Justice.

Whenever and wherever game birds are so scarce that a good shot who hunts hard during a day in the fields finds only three or four birds, he should stop shooting at once, and devote his mind and energies to the problem of bringing back the game! It is strange that conditions do not make this duty clear to every conscientious citizen.

The Shylock spirit which prompts a man to kill all that "the law allows" is a terrible scourge to the wild life of America, and to the world at large. It is the spirit of extermination according to law. Even the killing of game for the market is not so great a scourge as this; for this spirit searches out the game in every nook and cranny of the world, and spares not. In effect it says: "If the law is defective, it is right for me to take every advantage of it! I do not need to have any conscience in the matter outside the letter of the law."

The extent to which this amazing spirit prevails is positively awful. You will find it among pseudo game-protectors to a paralyzing extent! It is the great gunner's paradox, and it pervades this country from corner to corner. No: there is no use in trying to "educate" the mass of the hunters of America out of it, as a means of saving the game; for positively it can not be done! Do not waste time in trying it. If you rely upon it, you will be doing a great wrong to wild life, and promoting extermination. The only remedy is sweeping laws, for long close seasons, for a great many species. Forget the paltry dollar-a-year license money. The license fees never represent more than a tenth part of the value of the game that is killed under licenses.

The savage desire to kill "all that the law allows" often is manifested in men in whom we naturally expect to find a very different spirit. By way of illumination, I offer three cases out of the many that I could state.

Case No. 1. The Duck Breeder. —A gentleman of my acquaintance has spent several years and much money in breeding wild ducks. From my relations with him, I had acquired the belief that he was a great lover of ducks, and at least wished all species well. One whizzing cold day in winter he called upon me, and stated that he had been duck-hunting; which surprised me. He added, "I have just spent two days on Great South Bay, and I made a great killing. In the two days I got ninety-four ducks!"

I said, "How could you do it,—caring for wild ducks as you do?"

"Well, I had hunted ducks twice before on Great South Bay and didn't have very good luck; but this time the cold weather drove the ducks in, and I got square with them!"

Case No. 2. The Ornithologist. —A short time ago the news was published in Forest and Stream, that a well-known ornithologist had distinguished himself in one of the mid-western states by the skill he had displayed in bagging thirty-four ducks in one day, greatly to the envy of the natives; and if this shoe fits any American naturalist, he is welcome to put it on and wear it.

Case No. 3. The Sportsman. —A friend of mine in the South is the owner of a game preserve in which wild ducks are at times very numerous. Once upon a time he was visited by a northern sportsmen who takes a deep and abiding interest in the preservation of game. The sportsman was invited to go out duck-shooting; ducks being then in season there. He said:


A notable defender of Wild Life

"Yes, I will go; and I want you to put me in a place where I can kill a hundred ducks in a day! I never have done that yet, and I would like to do it, once!"

"All right," said my friend, "I can put you in such a place; and if you can shoot well enough, you can kill a hundred ducks in a day."

The effort was made in all earnestness. There was much shooting, but few were the ducks that fell before it. In concluding this story my friend remarked in a tone of disgust:

"All the game-preserving sportsmen that come to me are just like that! They want to kill all they can kill!"

There is a blood-test by which to separate the conscientious sportsmen from the mere gunners. Here it is:

A sportsman stops shooting when game becomes scarce; and he does not object to long-close-season laws; but

A gunner believes in killing "all that the law allows;" and he objects to long close seasons!

I warrant that whenever and wherever this test is applied it will separate the sheep from the goats. It applies in all America, all Asia and Africa, and in Greenland, with equal force.

The Game-Hog. —This term was coined by G.O. Shields, in 1897, when he was editor and owner of Recreation Magazine, and it has come into general use. It has been recognized by a judge on the bench as being an appropriate term to apply to all men who selfishly slaughter wild game beyond the limits of decency. Although it is a harsh term, and was mercilessly used by Mr. Shields in his fierce war on the men who slaughtered game for "sport," it has jarred at least a hundred thousand men into their first realization of the fact that to-day there is a difference between decency and indecency in the pursuit of game. The use of the term has done very great good; but, strange to say, it has made for Mr. Shields a great many enemies outside the ranks of the game-hogs themselves! From this one might fairly suppose that there is such a thing as a sympathetic game-hog!

One thing at least is certain. During a period of about six years, while his war with the game-hogs was on, from Maine to California, Mr. Shields's name became a genuine terror to excessive killers of game; and it is reasonably certain that his war saved a great number of game birds from the slaughter that otherwise would have overtaken them!

The number of armed men and boys who annually take the field in the United States in the pursuit of birds and quadrupeds, is enormous. People who do not shoot have no conception of it; and neither do they comprehend the mechanical perfection and fearful deadliness of the weapons used. This feature of the situation can hardly be realized until some aspect of it is actually seen.

I have been at some pains to collect the latest figures showing the number of hunting licenses issued in 1911, but the total is incomplete. In some states the figures are not obtainable, and in some states there are no hunters' license laws. The figures of hunting licenses issued in 1911 that I have obtained from official sources are set forth below.

The United States Army Of Destruction
Hunting Licenses issued in 1911
Alabama 5,090 Montana 59,291
California 138,689 Nebraska 39,402
Colorado 41,058 New Hampshire 33,542
Connecticut 19,635 New Jersey 61,920
Idaho 50,342 New Mexico 7,000
Illinois 192,244 New York 150,222
Indiana 54,813 Rhode Island 6,541
Iowa 91,000 South Dakota 31,054
Kansas 44,069 Utah 27,800
Louisiana 76,000 Vermont 31,762
Maine 2,552 Washington, about 40,000
Massachusetts 45,039 Wisconsin 138,457
Michigan 22,323 Wyoming 9,721
Missouri 66,662 _______
Total number of regularly licensed gunners 1,486,228

The average for the twenty-seven states that issued licenses as shown above is 55,046 for each state.

Now, the twenty-one states issuing no licenses, or not reporting, produced in 1911 fully as many gunners per capita as did the other twenty-seven states. Computed fairly on existing averages they must have turned out a total of 1,155,966 gunners, making for all the United States 2,642,194 armed men and boys warring upon the remnant of game in 1911. We are not counting the large number of lawless hunters who never take out licenses. Now, is Mr. Beard's picture a truthful presentation, or not?

New York with only deer, ruffed grouse, shore-birds, ducks and a very few woodcock to shoot annually puts into the field 150,222 armed men. In 1909 they killed about 9,000 deer!

New Jersey, spending $30,000 in 1912 in efforts to restock her covers with game, and with a population of 2,537,167, sent out in 1911 a total army of 61,920 well-armed gunners. How can any of her game survive?

New Hampshire, with only 430,572 population, has 33,542 licensed hunters,—equal to thirty-three regiments of full strength!

Vermont, with 355,956 people, sends out annually an army of 31,762 men who hunt according to law; and in 1910 they killed 3,649 deer.

Utah, with only 373,351 population, had 27,800 men in the field after her very small remnant of game! How can any wild thing of Utah escape?

Montana, population 376,053, had in 1911 an army of 59,291 well-armed men, warring chiefly upon the big game, and swiftly exterminating it.

How long can any of the big game stand before the army of two and one-half million well-armed men, eager and keen to kill, and out to get an equivalent for their annual expenditure in guns, ammunition and other expenses?

In addition to the hunters themselves, they are assisted by thousands of expert guides, thousands of horses, thousands of dogs, hundreds of automobiles and hundreds of thousands of tents. Each big-game hunter has an experienced guide who knows the haunts and habits of the game, the best feeding grounds, the best trails, and everything else that will aid the hunter in taking the game at a disadvantage and destroying it. The big-game rifles are of the highest power, the longest range, the greatest accuracy and the best repeating mechanism that modern inventive genius can produce. It is said that in Wyoming the Maxim silencer is now being used. England has produced a weapon of a new type, called "the scatter rifle," which is intended for use on ducks. The best binoculars are used in searching out the game, and horses carry the hunters and guides as near as possible to the game. For bears, baits are freely used, and in the pursuit of pumas, dogs are employed to the limit of the available supply.

The deadliness of the automobile in hunting already is so apparent that North Dakota has wisely and justly forbidden their use by law, (1911). The swift machine enables city gunmen to penetrate game regions they could not reach with horses, and hunt through from four to six localities per day, instead of one only, as formerly. The use of automobiles in hunting should be everywhere prohibited.

Every appliance and assistance that money can buy, the modern sportsman secures to help him against the game. The game is beset during its breeding season by various wild enemies,—foxes, cats, wolves, pumas, lynxes, eagles, and many other predatory species. The only help that it receives is in the form of an annual close season—which thus far has saved in America only a few local moose, white-tailed deer and a few game birds, from steady and sure extermination.

The bag limits on which vast reliance is placed to preserve the wild game, are a fraud, a delusion and a snare! The few local exceptions only prove the generality of the rule. In every state, without one single exception, the bag limits are far too high, and the laws are of deadly liberality. In many states, the bag limit laws on birds are an absolute dead letter. Fancy the 125 wardens of New York enforcing the bag-limit laws on 150,000 gunners! It is this horrible condition that is enabling the licensed army of destruction to get in its deadly work on the game, all over the world. In America, the over-liberality of the laws are to blame for two-thirds of the carnival of slaughter, and the successful evasions of the law are responsible for the other third.


Who Believe in Killing all That the Law Allows. They are not so Much to Blame as the System That Permits Such Slaughter. (Note the Pump Guns)


Nineteen of Them Killed as "Game" by Three Gunners. Note the Machine Gun.

The only remedy for the present extermination of game according to law that so rapidly and so furiously is proceeding all over the United States, Canada, Alaska, and Africa, is ten-year close seasons on all the species threatened with extinction, and immensely reduced open seasons and bag limits on all the others.

Will the people who still have wild game take heed now, and clamp down the brakes, hard and fast before it is too late, or will they have their game exterminated?

Shall we have five-year close seasons, or close seasons of 500 years? We must take our choice.

Shall we hand down to our children a gameless continent, with all the shame that such a calamity will entail?

We have got to answer these questions like men, or they will soon be answered for us by the extermination of the wild life. For twenty-five years we have been smarting under the disgrace of the extermination of our bison millions. Let us not repeat the dose through the destruction of other species.


We have now to deal with The Guerrillas Of Destruction.

In warfare, a guerrilla, or bushwhacker, is an armed man who recognizes none of the rules of civilized warfare, and very often has no commander. In France he is called a "franc-tireur," or free-shooter. The guerrilla goes out to live on the country, to skulk, to war on the weak, and never attack save from ambush, or when the odds clearly are on his side. His military status is barely one remove from that of the spy.

The meat-shooters who harry the game and other wild life in order to use it as a staple food supply; the Italians, negroes and others who shoot song-birds as food; the plume-hunters and the hide-and-tusk hunters all over the world are the guerrillas of the Army of Destruction. Let us consider some of these grand divisions in detail.

Here is an inexorable law of Nature, to which there are no exceptions:

No wild species of bird, mammal, reptile or fish can withstand exploitation for commercial purposes.

The men who pursue wild creatures for the money or other value there is in them, never give up. They work at slaughter when other men are enjoying life, or are asleep. If they are persistent, no species on which they fix the Evil Eye escapes extermination at their hands.

Does anyone question this statement? If so let him turn backward and look at the lists of dead and dying species.

The Division Of Meat-Shooters contains all men who sordidly shoot for the frying-pan,—to save bacon and beef at the expense of the public, or for the markets. There are a few wilderness regions so remote and so difficult of access that the transportation of meat into them is a matter of much difficulty and expense. There are a very few men in North America who are justified in "living off the country," for short periods. The genuine prospectors always have been counted in this class; but all miners who are fully located, all lumbermen and railway-builders certainly are not in the prospector's class. They are abundantly able to maintain continuous lines of communication for the transit of beef and mutton.

Of all the meat-shooters, the market-gunners who prey on wild fowl and ground game birds for the big-city markets are the most deadly to wild life. Enough geese, ducks, brant, quail, ruffed grouse, prairie chickens, heath hens and wild pigeons have been butchered by gunners and netters for "the market" to have stocked the whole world. No section containing a good supply of game has escaped. In the United States the great slaughtering-grounds have been Cape Cod; Great South Bay, New York; Currituck Sound, North Carolina; Marsh Island, Louisiana; the southwest corner of Louisiana; the Sunk Lands of Arkansas; the lake regions of Minnesota; the prairies of the whole middle West; Great Salt Lake; the Klamath Lake region (Oregon) and southern California.


Killing Mallards for the New Orleans Market. The Purchase of This Island by Mrs. Russell Sage has now Converted it Into a Bird Sanctuary

The output of this systematic bird slaughter has supplied the greedy game markets of Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Washington, Baltimore, Chicago, New Orleans, St. Louis, Salt Lake City, San Francisco, Portland, and Seattle. The history of this industry, its methods, its carnage, its profits and its losses would make a volume, but we can not enter upon it here. Beyond reasonable doubt, this awful traffic in dead game is responsible for at least three-fourths of the slaughter that has reduced our game birds to a mere remnant of their former abundance. There is no influence so deadly to wild life as that of the market gunner who works six days a week, from sunrise until sunset, hunting down and killing every game bird that he can reach with a choke-bore gun.

During the past five years, several of the once-great killing grounds have been so thoroughly "shot out" that they have ceased to hold their former rank. This is the case with the Minnesota Lakes, the Sunk Lands of Arkansas, the Klamath Lakes of Oregon, and I think it is also true of southern California. The Klamath Lakes have been taken over by the Government as a bird refuge. Currituck Sound, at the northeastern corner of North Carolina, has been so bottled up by the Bayne law of New York State that Currituck's greatest market has been cut off. Last year only one-half the usual number of ducks and geese were killed; and already many "professional" duck and brant shooters have abandoned the business because the commission merchants no longer will buy dead birds.


A Common Victim of Illegal Slaughter

Very many enormous bags of game have been made in a day by market gunners: but rarely have they published any of their records. The greatest kill of which I ever have heard occurred under the auspices of the Glenn County Club, in southern California, on February 5, 1906. Two men, armed with automatic shot-guns, fired five shots apiece, and got ten geese out of one flock. In one hour they killed two hundred and eighteen geese, and their bag for the day was four hundred and fifty geese! The shooter who wrote the story for publication (on February 12, at Willows, Glenn County, California) said: "It being warm weather, the birds had to be shipped at once in order to keep them from spoiling." A photograph was made of the "one hour's slaughter" of two hundred and eighteen geese, and it was published in a western magazine with "C.H.B.'s" story, nearly all of which will be found in Chapter XV.

The reasons why market shooting is so deadly destructive to wild life are not obscure.

The true sportsman hunts during a very few days only each year. The market gunners shoot early and late, six days a week, month after month. When game is abundant, the price is low, and a great quantity must be killed in order to make it pay well. When game is scarce, the market prices are high, and the shooter makes the utmost exertions to find the last of the game in order to secure the "big money."

When game is protected by law, thousands of people with money desire it for their tables, just the same, and are willing to pay fabulous prices for what they want, when they want it. Many a dealer is quite willing to run the risk of fines, because fines don't really hurt; they are only annoying. The dealer wishes to make the big profit, and retain his customers; "and besides," he reasons, "if I don't supply him some one else will; so what is the difference?"

When game is scarce, prices high and the consumer's money ready, there are a hundred tricks to which shooters and dealers willingly resort to ship and receive unlawful game without detection. It takes the very best kind of game wardens,—genuine detectives, in fact,—to ferret out these cunning illegal practices, and catch lawbreakers "with the goods on them," so that they can be punished. Mind you, convictions can not be secured at both ends of the line save by the most extraordinary good fortune, and usually the shooter and shipper escape, even when the dealer is apprehended and fined.

From "Rod and Gun in Canada"


Here are some of the methods that have been practiced in the past in getting illegal game into the New York market:

Ruffed grouse and quail have both been shipped in butter firkins, marked "butter"; and latterly, butter has actually been packed solidly on top of the birds.

Ruffed grouse and quail very often have been shipped in egg crates, marked "eggs." They have been shipped in trunks and suit cases,—a very common method for illegal game birds, all over the United States. In Oklahoma when a man refuses to open his trunk for a game warden, the warden joyously gets out his brace and bitt, and bores an inch hole into the lower story of the trunk. If dead birds are there, the tell-tale auger quickly reveals them.

Three years ago, I was told that certain milk-wagons on Long Island made daily collections of dead ducks intended for the New York market, and the drivers kindly shipped them by express from the end of the route.

Once upon a time, a New York man gave notice that on a certain date he would be in a certain town in St. Lawrence County, New York, with a palace horse-car, "to buy horses." Car and man appeared there as advertised. Very ostentatiously, he bought one horse, and had it taken aboard the car before the gaze of the admiring populace. At night, when the A.P. had gone to bed, many men appeared, and into the horseless end of that car, they loaded thousands of ruffed grouse. The game warden who described the incident to me said: "That man pulled out for New York with one horse and half a car load of ruffed grouse!"

Whenever a good market exists for the sale of game, as sure as the world that market will be supplied. Twenty-six states forbid by law the sale of their own "protected" game, but twenty of them do not expressly prohibit the sale of game stolen from neighboring states! That is a very, very weak point in the laws of all those states. A child can see how it works. Take Pittsburgh as a case in point.

In the winter and spring of 1912 the State Game Commission of Pennsylvania found that quail and ruffed grouse were being sold in Pittsburgh, in large quantities. The state laws were well enforced, and it was believed that the birds were not being killed in Pennsylvania. Some other state was being robbed!

The Game Commission went to work, and in a very short time certain game-dealers of Pittsburgh were arrested. At first they tried to bluff their way out of their difficulty, and even went as far as to bring charges against the game-warden whom the Commission had instructed to buy some of their illegal game, and pay for it. But the net of the law tightened upon them so quickly and so tightly that they threw up their hands and begged for mercy.


A Great "Game Bird"! Of These, 8,058 Were Found in 1902 in one New York Cold-Storage Warehouse

It was found that those Pittsburgh game-dealers were selling quail and grouse that had been stolen in thousands, from the state of Kentucky! Between the state game laws, working in lovely harmony with the Lacey federal law that prohibits the shipment of game illegally killed or sold, the whole bad business was laid bare, and signed confessions were promptly obtained from the shippers in Kentucky.

At that very time, a good bill for the better protection of her game was before the Kentucky legislature; and a certain member was vigorously opposing it, as he had successfully done in previous years. He was told that the state was being robbed, but refused to believe it. Then a signed confession was laid before him, bearing the name of the man who was instigating his opposition,—his friend,—who confessed that he had illegally bought and shipped to Pittsburgh over 5,000 birds. The objector literally threw up his hands, and said, "I have been wrong! Let the bill go through!" And it went.

Before the passage of the Bayne law, New York City was a "fence" for the sale of grouse illegally killed in Massachusetts, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and I know not how many other states. The Bayne law stopped all that business, abruptly and forever; and if the ruffed grouse, quail and ducks of the Eastern States are offered for sale in Chicago, Cincinnati, Baltimore and Washington, the people of New York and Massachusetts can at least be assured that they are not to blame. Those two states now maintain no "fences" for the sale of game that has been stolen from other states. They have both set their houses in order, and set two examples for forty other states to follow.

The remedy for all this miserable game-stealing, law-breaking business is simple and easily obtained. Let each state of the United States and each province and Canada enact a Bayne law, absolutely prohibiting the sale of all wild native game, and the thing is done! But nothing short of that will be really effective. It will not do at all to let state laws rest with merely forbidding the sale of game "protected by the State;" for that law is full of loop-holes. It does much good service, yes; but what earthly objection can there be in any state to the enactment of a law that is sweepingly effective, and which can not be evaded, save through the criminal connivance of officers of the law?

By way of illustration, to show what the sale of wild game means to the remnant of our game, and the wicked slaughter of non-game birds to which it leads, consider these figures:

Dead Birds Found In One Cold Storage House In New York In 1902
Snow Buntings 8,058 Grouse 7,560
Sandpipers 7,607 Quail 4,385
Plover 5,218 Ducks 1,756
Snipe 7,003 Bobolinks 288
Yellow-legs 788 Woodcock 96

The fines for this lot, if imposed, would have amounted to $1,168,315.

Shortly after that seizure American quail became so scarce that in effect they totally disappeared from the banquet tables of New York. I can not recall having been served with one since 1903, but the little Egyptian quail can be legally imported and sold when officially tagged.

Few persons away from the firing line realize the far-reaching effects of the sale of wild game. Here are a few flashes from the searchlight:

At Hangkow, China, Mr. C. William Beebe found that during his visit in 1911, over 46,000 pheasants of various species were shipped from that port on one cold-storage steamer to the London market. And this when English pheasants were selling in the Covent Garden market at from two to three shillings each, for fresh birds!

In 1910, 1,200 ptarmigan from Norway, bound for the Chicago market, passed through the port of New York,—not by any means the first or the last shipment of the kind. The epicures of Chicago are being permitted to comb the game out of Norway.

In 1910, 70,000 dozen Egyptian quail were shipped to Europe from Alexandria, Egypt. Just why that species has not already been exterminated, is a zoological mystery; but extermination surely will come some day, and I think it will be in the near future.

The coast of China has been raked and scraped for wild ducks to ship to New York,—prior to the passage of the Bayne law! I have forgotten the figures that once were given me, but they were an astonishing number of thousands for the year.

The Division of Negroes and Poor Whites who kill song and other birds indiscriminately will be found in a separate chapter.

The Division Of "Resident" Game-Butchers. —This refers to the men who live in the haunts of big game, where wardens are the most of the time totally absent, and where bucks, does and fawns of hoofed big game may be killed in season and out of season, with impunity. It includes guides, ranchmen, sheep-herders, cowboys, miners, lumbermen and floaters generally. In times past, certain taxidermists of Montana promoted the slaughter of wild bison in the Yellowstone Park, and it was a pair of rascally taxidermists who killed, or caused to be killed in Lost Park, in 1897, the very last bison of Colorado.

It seems to be natural for the minds of men who live in America in the haunts of big game to drift into the idea that the wild game around them is all theirs. Very few of them recognize the fact that every other man, woman and child in a given state or province has vested rights in its wild game. It is natural for a frontiersman to feel that because he is in the wilds he has a God-given right to live off the country; but to-day that idea is totally wrong! If some way can not be found to curb that all-pervading propensity among our frontiersmen, then we may as well bid all our open-field big game a long farewell; for the deadly "residents" surely will exterminate it, outside the game preserves. The "residents" are, in my opinion, about ten times more destructive than the sportsmen. A sportsman in quest of large game is in the field only from ten to thirty days; all his movements are known, and all his trophies are seen and counted. His killing is limited by law, and upon him the law is actually enforced. Often a resident hunts the whole twelve months of the year,—for food, for amusement, and for trophies to sell. Rarely does a game warden reach his cabin; because the wardens are few, the distances great and the frontier cabins are widely scattered.

Mr. Carl Pickhardt told me of a guide in Newfoundland who had a shed in the woods hanging full of bodies of caribou, and who admitted to him that while the law allowed him five caribou each year, he killed each year about twenty-five.

Mr. J.M. Phillips knows of a mountain in British Columbia, once well stocked with goats, on which the goats have been completely exterminated by one man who lives within easy striking distance of them, and who finds goat meat to his liking.

I have been reliably informed that in 1911, at Haha Lake, near Grande Bay, Saguenay District, P.Q., one family of six persons killed thirty-four woodland caribou and six moose. This meant the waste of about 14,000 pounds of good meat, and the death of several female animals.

In 1886 I knew a man named Owens who lived on the head of Sunday Creek, Montana, who told me that in 1884-5 he killed thirty-five mule deer for himself and family. The family ate as much as possible, the dogs ate all they could, and in the spring the remainder spoiled. Now there is not a deer, an antelope, or a sage grouse within fifty miles of that lifeless waste.

Here is a Montana object lesson on the frame of mind of the "resident" hunter, copied from Outdoor Life Magazine (Denver) for February, 1912. It is from a letter to the Editor, written by C.B. Davis.

November 27, 28, 29, and 30, 1911, will remain a red letter day with a half thousand men for years to come. These half thousand men gathered along the border of the Yellowstone National Park, near Gardiner, Montana, at a point known as Buffalo Flats, to exterminate elk. The snow had driven the elk down to the foothills, and Buffalo Flats is on the border of the park and outside the park. The elk entered this little valley for food. Like hungry wolves, shooters, not hunters, gathered along the border waiting to catch an elk off the "reservation" and kill it.

On November 27th about 1500 elk crossed the line, and the slaughter began. I have not the data of the number killed this day, but it was hundreds.

On the 28th, twenty-two stepped over and were promptly executed. Like Custer's band, not one escaped. On the evening of the 28th, 600 were sighted just over the line, and the army of 125 brave men entrenched themselves for the battle which was expected to open next morning. Before daylight of the 29th the battle began. The elk were over the line, feeding on Buffalo Flats. One hundred and twenty-five men poured bullets into this band of 600 elk till the ground was red with blood and strewn with carcasses, and in their madness they shot each other. One man was shot through the ear,—a close call; another received a bullet through his coat sleeve, and another was shot through the bowels and can't live.

My informer told me he participated in the slaughter, and while he would not take fifty dollars for what he saw, and the experience he went through, yet he would not go through it again for $1,000. When my informer got back to Gardiner that day there were four sleigh loads of elk, each load containing from twenty to thirty-five elk, besides thirty-two mules and horses carrying one to two each. This was only a part of the slaughter. Hundreds more were carried to other points; and this was only one day's work.

Hundreds of wounded elk wandered back into the park to die, and others died outside the park. The station at Livingston, Montana, for a week looked like a packing house. Carcasses were piled up on the trucks and depot platform. The baggage cars were loaded with elk going to points east and west of Livingston.

Maybe this is all right. Maybe the government can't stop the elk from crossing the line. Maybe the elk were helped over; but it strikes me there is something wrong somewhere.

The Division Of Hired Laborers. —The scourge of lumber-camps in big-game territory, the mining camps and the railroad-builders is a long story, and if told in detail it would make several chapters. Their awful destructiveness is well known. It is a common thing for "the boss" to hire a hunter to kill big game to supply the hungry outfit, and save beef and pork.

The abuses arising from this source easily could be checked, and finally suppressed. A ten-line law would do the business,—forbidding any person employed in any camp of sheep men, cattle men, lumbermen, miners, railway laborers or excavators to own or use a rifle in hunting wild game; and forbidding any employer of labor to feed those laborers, or permit them to be fed, on the flesh of wild game mammals or birds. "Camp" laborers are not "pioneers;" not by a long shot! They are soldiers of Commerce, and makers of money.

A Mountain Sheep Case In Colorado. —The state of Colorado sincerely desires to protect and perpetuate its slender remnant of mountain sheep, but as usual the Lawless Miscreant is abroad to thwart the efforts of the guardians of the game. Every state that strives to protect its big game has such doings as this to contend with:

In the winter of 1911-12, a resident poacher brought into Grant, Colorado, a lot of mountain sheep meat for sale; and he actually sold it to residents of that town! The price was six cents per pound. A lot of it was purchased by the railway station-agent. I have no doubt that the same man who did that job, which was made possible only by the co-operation of the citizens of Grant, will try the same poaching-and-selling game next winter, unless the State Game Commissioner is able to bring him to book.

A Wyoming Case In Point. —As a fair sample of what game wardens, and the general public, are sometimes compelled to endure through the improper decisions of judges, I will cite this case:

In the Shoshone Mountains of northern Wyoming, about fifty miles or so from the town of Cody, in the winter of 1911-12 a man was engaged in trapping coyotes. It was currently reported that he had been "driven out of Montana and Idaho." He had scores of traps. He baited his traps with the flesh of deer, elk calves and grouse, all illegally killed and illegally used for that purpose. A man of my acquaintance saw some of this game meat actually used as described.

The man was a notorious character, and cruel in the extreme. Finally a game warden caught him red-handed, arrested him, and took him to Cody for trial. It happened that the judge on the bench had once trapped with him, and therefore "he set the game-killer free, while the game-warden was roasted."

That wolf-trapper once took into the mountains a horse, to kill and use as bear-bait. The animal was blind in one eye, and because it would not graze precisely where the wolfer desired it to remain, he deliberately destroyed the sight of its good eye, and left it for days, without the ability to find water.

Think of the fate of any wild animal that unkind Fate places at the mercy of such a man!


Quite unintentionally on his part, Man, the arch destroyer and the most predatory and merciless of all animal species except the wolves, has rendered a great service to all the birds that live or nest upon the ground. His relentless pursuit and destruction of the savage-tempered, strong-jawed fur-bearing animals is in part the salvation of the ground birds of to-day and yesterday. If the teeth and claws had been permitted to multiply unchecked down to the present time, with man's warfare on the upland game proceeding as it has done, scores upon scores of species long ere this would have been exterminated.

But the slaughter of the millions of North American foxes, wolves, weasels, skunks, and mink has so overwhelmingly reduced the four-footed enemies of the birds that the balance of wild Nature has been preserved. As a rule, the few predatory wild animals that remain are not slaughtering the birds to a serious extent; and for this we may well be thankful.

The Domestic Cat. —In such thickly settled communities as our northern states, from the Atlantic coast to the sandhills of Kansas and Nebraska, the domestic cat is probably the greatest four-footed scourge of bird life. Thousands of persons who never have seen a hunting cat in action will doubt this statement, but the proof of its truthfulness is only too painfully abundant.

Unhappily it is the way of the hunting cat to stalk unseen, and to kill the very birds that are most friendly with man, and most helpful to him in his farming and fruit-growing business. The quail is about the only game bird that the cat affects seriously, and to it the cat is very destructive. It is the robin, catbird, thrush, bluebird, dove, woodpecker, chickadee, phoebe, tanager and other birds of the lawn, the garden and orchard that afford good hunting for sly and savage old Thomas.

When I was a boy in my 'teens, I had a lasting series of object lessons on the cat as a predatory animal. Our "Betty" was the most ambitious and successful domestic-cat hunter of wild mammals of which I ever have heard. To her, rats and mice were mere child's-play, and after a time their pursuit offered such tame sport that she sought fresh fields for her prowess. Then she brought in young rabbits, chipmunks and thirteen-lined spermophiles, and once she came in, quite exhausted, half dragging and half carrying a big, fat pocket gopher. With her it seemed to be a point of honor that she should bring in her game and display it. Little did we realize then that in course of time the wild birds would become so scarce that their slaughter by house cats would demand legislative action in the states.

In considering the hunting cat, let us call in a credible witness of the effects of domestic cats on the bob white. The following is an eye-witness report, by Ernest B. Beardsley, in Outdoor Life for April, 1912. The locality was Wellington, Sumner County, Kansas.

In the meantime, old Queen was having a high old time up ahead, some hundred feet by then, running up the bank and back down in the draw. We had hardly caught up when up goes Mr. Savage's gun and he gives both barrels. I had seen nothing up to date, but I didn't have long to wait, for by the time I got up to him and the dog, they were both in the high grass and had a great, big, common gray maltese house-cat; and Queen had a half-eaten quail that Mr. Cat was busy with when disturbed.

Well, we followed the draw across the field and got nine of a covey of sixteen that had been ahead of Mr. Cat; and about four o'clock that evening we killed another white-and-gray cat. While driving home that night, Mr. Savage told me that he had killed fifty or more in three or four years. They will get in a draw full of tumble-grass, on a cold day when quail don't like to fly, and stay right with them; and even after feeding on two or three, they will lie and watch, and when the covey moves, they move. When eating time comes around they are at it again, and to a covey of young birds they are sure death to the whole covey.

Well, Will told me never to overlook a house-cat that I found as far as a quarter of a mile from a farm or ranch, for if they have not already turned wild, they are learning how easy it is to hunt and live on game, and are almost as bad. We found Mr. Black-and-White Hunter had eaten two quail just before we killed him that evening. I would rather not write what Mr. Savage said when we found the remains of a partly-eaten bird.

My advice is, don't let tame cats get away when found out hunting; for the chances are they have not seen a home in months, and maybe years,—and say! but they do get big and bad. When you meet one, give it to him good, and don't let your dog run up to him until he is out for keeps. I learned afterwards that was how Will knew it was a cat. Queen had learned to back off and call for help on cats some years before.

In the New York Zoological Park, we have had troubles of our own with marauding cats. They establish themselves in a day, and quickly learn where to seek easy game and good cover. In the daytime they lie close in the thick brush, exactly as tigers do in India, but if not molested for a period of days, they become bold and attack game in open view. One bird-killing cat was so shy of man that it was only after two weeks of hard hunting (mornings and evenings) that it was killed.

We have seen cats catch and kill gray squirrels, chipmunks, robins and thrushes, and have found the feathers of slaughtered quail. Once we had gray rabbits breeding in the park, and their number reached between eighty and ninety. For a time they fearlessly hopped about in sight from our windows, and they were of great interest to visitors and to all of us. Then the cats began upon them; and in one year there was not a rabbit to be seen, save at rare intervals. At the same time the chipmunks of the park were almost exterminated.

That was the last straw, and we began a vigorous war upon those wild and predatory cats. The cats came off second best. We killed every cat that was found hunting in the park, and we certainly got some that were big and bad. We eliminated that pest, and we are keeping it eliminated. And with what result?

In 1911 a covey of eleven quail came and settled in our grounds, and have remained there. Twenty times at least during the past eight months (winter and spring) I have seen the flock on the granite ledge not more than forty feet from the rear window of my office. Last spring when I left the Administration Building at six o'clock, after the visitors had gone, I found two half-grown rabbits calmly roosting on the door-mat. The rabbits are slowly coming back, and the chipmunks are visibly increasing in number. The gray squirrels now chase over the walks without fear of any living thing, and our ducklings and young guineas and peacocks are safe once more.

That cats destroy annually in the United States several millions of very valuable birds, seems fairly beyond question. I believe that in settled regions they are worse than weasels, foxes, skunks and mink combined; because there are about one hundred times as many of them, and those that hunt are not afraid to hunt in the daytime. Of course I am not saying that all cats hunt wild game; but in the country I believe that fully one-half of them do.

I am personally acquainted with a cat in Indiana, on the farm of relatives, which is notorious for its hunting propensities, and its remarkable ability in capturing game. Even the lady who is joint owner of the cat feels very badly about its destructiveness, and has said, over and over again, that it ought to be killed; but the cat is such a family pet that no one in the family has the heart to destroy it, and as yet no stranger has come forward to play the part of executioner. The lady in question assured me that to her certain knowledge that particular cat would watch a nestful of young robins week after week until they had grown up to such a size that they were almost ready to fly; then he would kill them and devour them. Old "Tommy" was too wise to kill the robins when they were unduly small.

In a great book entitled Useful Birds and Their Protection, by E. H. Forbush, State Ornithologist of Massachusetts, and published by the Massachusetts State Board of Agriculture in 1905, there appears, on page 362, many interesting facts on this subject. For example:

Mr. William Brewster tells of an acquaintance in Maine, who said that his cat killed about fifty birds a year. Mr. A.C. Dike wrote [to Mr. Forbush] of a cat owned by a family, and well cared for. They watched it through one season, and found that it killed fifty-eight birds, including the young in five nests.

Nearly a hundred correspondents, scattered through all the counties of the state, report the cat as one of the greatest enemies of birds. The reports that have come in of the torturing and killing of birds by cats are absolutely sickening. The number of birds killed by them in this state is appalling.

Some cat lovers believe that each cat kills on the average not more than ten birds a year; but I have learned of two instances where more than that number were killed in a single day, and another where seven were killed. If we assume, however, that the average cat on the farm kills but ten birds per year, and that there is one cat to each farm in Massachusetts, we have, in round numbers, seventy thousand cats, killing seven hundred thousand birds annually.


This Cat had fed so bountifully on the Rabbits and Squirrels of the Zoological Park, that it ate only the Brain of this Gray Rabbit

In Mr. Forbush's book there is an illustration of the cat which killed fifty-eight birds in one year, and the animal was photographed with a dead robin in its mouth. The portrait is reproduced in this chapter.

Last year, a strong effort was made in Massachusetts to enact a law requiring cats to be licensed. On account of the amount of work necessary in passing the no-sale-of-game bill, that measure was not pressed, and so it did not become a law; but another year it will undoubtedly be passed, for it is a good bill, and extremely necessary at this time. Such a law is needed in every state!

There is a mark by which you may instantly and infallibly know the worst of the wild cats—by their presence away from home, hunting in the open. Kill all such, wherever found. The harmless cats are domestic in their tastes, and stay close to the family fireside and the kitchen. Being properly fed, they have no temptation to become hunters. There are cats and cats, just as there are men and men: some tolerable, many utterly intolerable. No sweeping sentiment for all cats should be allowed to stand in the way of the abatement of the hunting-cat nuisances.

Of all men, the farmer cannot afford the luxury of their existence! It is too expensive. With him it is a matter of dollars, and cash out of pocket for every hunting cat that he tolerates in his neighborhood. There are two places in which to strike the hunting cats: in the open, and in the state legislature.

While this chapter was in the hands of the compositors, the hunting cat and gray rabbit shown in the accompanying illustration were brought in by a keeper.

Dogs As Destroyers Of Birds. —I have received many letters from protectors of wild life informing me that the destruction of ground-nesting birds, and especially of upland game birds, by roaming dogs, has in some localities become a great curse to bird life. Complaints of this kind have come from New York, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Pennsylvania and elsewhere. Usually the culprits are hunting dogs—setters, pointers and hounds.

Now, surely it is not necessary to set forth here any argument on this subject. It is not open to argument, or academic treatment of any kind. The cold fact is:

In the breeding season of birds, and while the young birds are incapable of quick and strong flight, all dogs, of every description, should be restrained from free hunting; and all dogs found hunting in the woods during the season referred to should be arrested, and their owners should be fined twenty dollars for each offense. Incidentally, one-half the fine should go to the citizen who arrests the dog. The method of restraining hunting dogs should devolve upon dog owners; and the law need only prohibit or punish the act.

Beyond a doubt, in states that still possess quail and ruffed grouse, free hunting by hunting dogs leads to great destruction of nests and broods during the breeding season.

Telegraph And Telephone Wires. —Mr. Daniel C. Beard has strongly called my attention to the slaughter of birds by telegraph wires that has come under his personal observation. His country home, at Redding, Connecticut, is near the main line of the New York, New Haven and Hartford Railway, along which a line of very large poles carries a great number of wires. The wires are so numerous that they form a barrier through which it is difficult for any bird to fly and come out alive and unhurt.

Mr. Beard says that among the birds killed or crippled by flying against those wires near Redding he has seen the following species: olive-backed thrush, white-throated sparrow and other sparrows, oriole, blue jay, rail, ruffed grouse, and woodcock. It is a common practice for employees of the railway, and others living along the line, to follow the line and pick up on one excursion enough birds for a pot-pie.

Beyond question, the telegraph and telephone wires of the United States annually exact a heavy toll in bird life, and claim countless thousands of victims. They may well be set down as one of the unseen forces destructive to birds.

Naturally, we ask, what can be done about it?

I am told that in Scotland such slaughter is prevented by the attachment of small tags or discs to the telephone wires, at intervals of a few rods, sufficiently near that they attract the attention of flying birds, and reveal the line of an obstruction. This system should be adopted in all regions where the conditions are such that birds kill themselves against telegraph wires, and an excellent place to begin would be along the line of the N.Y., N.H. & H. Railway.

Wild Animals. —Beyond question, it is both desirable and necessary that any excess of wild animals that prey upon our grouse, quail, pheasants, woodcock, snipe, mallard duck, shore birds and other species that nest on the ground, should be killed. Since we must choose between the two, the birds have it! Weasels and foxes and skunks are interesting, and they do much to promote the hilarity of life in rural districts, but they do not destroy insects, and are of comparatively little value as destroyers of the noxious rodents that prey upon farm crops. While a few persons may dispute the second half of this proposition, the burden of proof that my view is wrong will rest upon them; and having spent eighteen years "on the farm," I think I am right. If there is any positive evidence tending to prove that the small carnivores that we class as "vermin" are industrious and persistent destroyers of noxious rodents—pocket gophers, moles, field-mice and rats—or that they do not kill wild birds numerously, now is the time to produce it, because the tide of public sentiment is strongly setting against the weasels, mink, foxes and skunks. (Once upon a time, a shrewd young man in the Zoological Park discovered a weasel hiding behind a stone while devouring a sparrow that it had just caught and killed. He stalked it successfully, seized it in his bare hand, and, even though bitten, made good the capture.)

The State of Pennsylvania is extensively wooded, with forests and with brush which affords excellent home quarters and breeding grounds for mammalian "vermin." The small predatory mammals are so seriously destructive to ruffed grouse and other ground birds that the State Game Commission is greatly concerned. When the hunter's license law is enacted, as it very surely will be at the next session of the legislature (1913), a portion of the $70,000 that it will produce each year will be used by the commission in paying bounties on the destruction of the surplus of vermin. Through the pursuit of vermin, any farmer can easily win enough bounties to more than pay the cost of his annual hunting license (one dollar), and the farmers' boys will find a new interest in life.


A Great Destroyer of Birds

In some portions of the Rocky Mountain region, the assaults of the large predatory mammals and birds on the young of the big-game species occasionally demand special treatment. In the Yellowstone Park the pumas multiplied to such an extent and killed so many young elk that their number had to be systematically reduced. To that end "Buffalo" Jones was sent out by the Government to find and destroy the intolerable surplus of pumas. In the course of his campaign he killed about forty, much to the benefit of the elk herds. Around the entrance to the den of a big old male puma, Mr. Jones found the skulls and other remains of nine elk calves that "the old Tom" had killed and carried there.

Pumas and lynxes attack and kill mountain sheep; and the golden eagle is very partial to mountain sheep lambs and mountain goat kids. It will not answer to permit birds of that bold and predatory species to become too numerous in mountains inhabited by goats and sheep; and the fewer the mountain lions the better, for they, like the lynx and eagle, have nothing to live upon save the game.

The wolves and coyotes have learned to seek the ranges of cattle, horses and sheep, where they still do immense damage, chiefly in killing young stock. In spite of the great sums that have been paid out by western states in bounties for the destruction of wolves, in many, many places the gray wolf still persists, and can not be exterminated. To the stockmen of the west the wolf question is a serious matter. The stockmen of Montana say that a government expert once told them how to get rid of the gray wolves. His instructions were: "Locate the dens, and kill the young in the dens, soon after they are born!" "All very easy to say, but a trifle difficult to do!" said my informant; and the ranchman seem to think they are yet a long way from a solution of the wolf question.

During the past year the destruction of noxious predatory animals in the national forest reserves has seriously occupied the attention of the United States Bureau of Forestry. By the foresters of that bureau the following animals were destroyed in fifteen western states:

213 Bears 6,487 Coyotes
88 Mountain Lions 870 Wild-Cats
172 Gray Wolves 72 Lynxes
69 Wolf Pups -----
In 1910 the total was 9,103.

The Red Squirrel. —Once in a great while, conditions change in subtle ways, wild creatures unexpectedly increase in number, and a community awakens to the fact that some wild species has become a public nuisance. In a small city park, even gray squirrels may breed and become so fearfully numerous that, in their restless quest for food, they may ravage the nests of the wild birds, kill and devour the young, and become a pest. In the Zoological Park, in 1903, we found that the red squirrels had increased to such a horde that they were driving out all our nesting wild birds, driving out the gray squirrels, and making themselves intolerably obnoxious. We shot sixty of them, and brought the total down to a reasonable number. Wherever he is or whatever his numerical strength, the red squirrel is a bad citizen, and, while we do not by any means favor his extermination, he should resolutely be kept within bounds by the rifle.

When a crow nested in our woods, near the Beaver Pond, we were greatly pleased; but with the feeding of the first brood, the crows began to carry off ducklings from the wild-fowl pond. After one crow had been seen to seize and carry away five young ducks in one forenoon, we decided that the constitutional limit had been reached, for we did not propose that all our young mallards should be swept into the awful vortex of that crow nest. We took those young crows and reared them by hand; but the old one had acquired a bad habit, and she persisted in carrying off young ducks until we had to end her existence with a gun. It was a painful operation, but there was no other way.

Bird-Destroying Birds. —There are several species of birds that may at once be put under sentence of death for their destructiveness of useful birds, without any extenuating circumstances worth mentioning. Four of these are Cooper's Hawk, the Sharp-Shinned Hawk, Pigeon Hawk and Duck Hawk. Fortunately these species are not so numerous that we need lose any sleep over them. Indeed, I think that today it would be a mighty good collector who could find one specimen in seven days' hunting. Like all other species, these, too, are being shot out of our bird fauna.

Several species of bird-eating birds are trembling in the balance, and under grave suspicion. Some of them are the Great Horned Owl, Screech Owl, Butcher Bird or Great Northern Shrike. The only circumstance that saves these birds from instant condemnation is the delightful amount of rats, mice, moles, gophers and noxious insects that they annually consume. In view of the awful destructiveness of the accursed bubonic-plague-carrying rat, we are impelled to think long before placing in our killing list even the great horned owl, who really does levy a heavy tax on our upland game birds. As to the butcher bird, we feel that we ought to kill him, but in view of his record on wild mice and rats, we hesitate, and finally decline.


A Species to be Destroyed


A Species to be Destroyed

Snakes. —Mr. Thomas M. Upp, a close and long observer of wild things wishes it distinctly understood that while the common black-snakes and racers are practically harmless to birds, the Pilot Black-Snake,—long, thick and truculent,—is a great scourge to nesting birds. It seems to be deserving of death. Mr. Upp speaks from personal knowledge, and his condemnation of the species referred to is quite sweeping. At the same time Mr. Raymond L. Ditmars points out the fact that this serpent feeds during 6 months of the year on mice, and in doing so renders good service. In the South it is called the "Mouse Snake."

Photo by A.C. Dyke


From Mr. Forbush's Book


Every cause that has the effect of reducing the total of wild-life population is now a matter of importance to mankind. The violent and universal disturbance of the balance of Nature that already has taken place throughout the temperate and frigid zone offers not only food for thought, but it calls for vigorous action.

There are vast sections in the populous centres of western civilization where the destruction of species, even to the point of extermination, is fairly inevitable. It is the way of Christian man to destroy all wild life that comes within the sphere of influence of his iron heel. With the exception of the big game, this destruction is largely a temperamental result, peculiar to the highest civilization. In India where the same fields have been plowed for wheat and dahl and raggi for at least 2,000 years, the Indian antelope, or "black buck," the saras crane and the adjutant stalk through the crops, and the nilgai and gazelle inhabit the eroded ravines in an agricultural land that averages 1,200 people to the square mile!

We have seen that even in farming country, where mud villages are as thick as farm houses in Nebraska, wild animals and even hoofed game can live and hold their own through hundreds of years of close association with man. The explanation is that the Hindus regard wild animals as creatures entitled to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, and they are not anxious to shoot every wild animal that shows its head. In the United States, nearly every game-inhabited community is animated by a feeling that every wild animal must necessarily be killed as soon as seen; and this sentiment often leads to disgraceful things. For instance, in some parts of New England a deer straying into a town is at once beset by the hue and cry, and it is chased and assaulted until it is dead, by violent and disgraceful means. New York State, however, seems to have outgrown that spirit. During the past ten years, at least a dozen deer in distress have been rescued from the Hudson River, or in inland towns, or in barnyards in the suburbs of Yonkers and New York, and carefully cared for until "the zoo people" could be communicated with. Last winter about 13 exhausted grebes and one loon were picked up, cared for and finally shipped with tender care to the Zoological Park. One distressed dovekie was picked up, but failed to survive.

The sentiment for the conservation of wild life has changed the mental attitude of very many people. The old Chinese-Malay spirit which cries "Kill! Kill!" and at once runs amuck among suddenly discovered wild animals, is slowly being replaced by a more humane and intelligent sentiment. This is one of the hopeful and encouraging signs of the times.

The destruction of wild animals by natural causes is an interesting subject, even though painful. We need to know how much destruction is wrought by influences wholly beyond the control of man, and a few cases must be cited.

Rinderpest In Africa. —Probably the greatest slaughter ever wrought upon wild animals by diseases during historic times, was by rinderpest, a cattle plague which afflicted Africa in the last decade of the previous century. Originally, the disease reached Africa by way of Egypt, and came as an importation from Europe. From Egypt it steadily traveled southward, reaching Somaliland in 1889. In 1896 it reached the Zambesi River and entered Rhodesia. From thence it went on southward almost to the Cape. Not only did it sweep away ninety percent of the native cattle but it also destroyed more than seventy-five per cent of the buffalos, antelopes and other hoofed game of Rhodesia. It was feared that many species would be completely exterminated, but happily that fear was not realized. The buffalo and antelope herds were fifteen years in breeding up again to a reasonable number, but thanks to the respite from hunters which they enjoyed for several years, finally they did recover. Throughout British East Africa the supply of big game in 1905 was very great, but since that time it has been very greatly diminished by shooting.

Caribou Disease. —From time to time reports have come from the Province of Quebec, and I think from Maine and New Brunswick also, of many caribou having died of disease. The nature of that disease has remained a mystery, because it seems that no pathologist ever has had an opportunity to investigate it. Fortunately, however, the alleged disease never has been sufficiently wide-spread or continuous to make appreciable inroads on the total number of caribou, and apparently the trouble has been local.

Scab In Mountain Sheep. —"Scab" is a contagious and persistent skin disease that affects sheep, and is destructive when not controlled. Fifteen years ago it prevailed in some portions of the west. In Colorado it has several times been reported that many bighorn mountain sheep were killed by "scab," which was contracted on wild mountain pastures that had been gone over by domestic sheep carrying that disease. From the reports current at that time, we inferred that about 200 mountain sheep had been affected. It was feared that the disease would spread through the wild flocks and become general, but this did not occur. It seems that the remnant flocks had become so isolated from one another that the isolation of the affected flocks saved the others.

Lumpy-Jaw In Antelope And Sheep. —It is a lamentable fact that some, at least, of the United States herds of prong-horned antelope are afflicted with a very deadly chronic infective disease known as actinomycosis, or lumpy-jaw. It has been brought into the Zoological Park five times, by specimens shipped from Colorado, Texas, Wyoming and Montana. I think our first cases came to us in 1902.

In its early stage this disease is so subtle and slow that it is months in developing; and this feature renders it all the more deadly, through the spread of infection long before the ailment can be discovered.

One of our antelope arrivals, apparently in perfect health when received, was on general principles kept isolated in rigid quarantine for two months. At the expiration of that period, no disease of any kind having become manifest, the animal was placed on exhibition, with two others that had been in the Park for more than a year, in perfect health.

In one more week the late arrival developed a swelling on its jaw, drooled at the corner of the mouth, and became feverish,—sure symptoms of the dread disease. At once it was removed and isolated, but in about 10 days it died. The other two antelopes were promptly attacked, and eventually died.

The course of the disease is very intense, and thus far it has proven incurable in our wild animals. We have lost about 10 antelopes from it, and one deer, usually, in each case, within ten days or two weeks from the discovery of the first outward sign,—the well known swelling on the jaw. One case that was detected immediately upon arrival was very persistently treated by Dr. Blair, and the animal actually survived for four months, but finally it succumbed. From first to last not a single case was cured.

In 1912, the future of the prong-horned antelope in real captivity seems hopeless. We have decided not to bring any more specimens to our institution, partly because all available candidates seem reasonably certain to be affected with lumpy-jaw, and partly because we are unwilling to run further risks of having other hoofed animals inoculated by them. Today we are anxiously wondering whether the jaw disease of the prong-horn is destined to exterminate the species. Such a catastrophe is much to be feared. This is probably one of the reasons why the antelope is steadily disappearing, despite protection.

In 1906 we discovered the existence of actinomycosis among the black mountain sheep of northern British Columbia. Two specimens out of six were badly affected, the bones of the jaws being greatly enlarged, and perforated by deep pits. The black sheep of the Stickine and Iskoot regions are so seldom seen by white men, save when a sportsman kills his allotment of three specimens, we really do not know anything about the extent to which actinomycosis prevails in those herds, or how deadly are its effects. One thing seems quite certain, from the appearance of the diseased skulls found by the writer in the taxidermic laboratory of Frederick Sauter, in New York. The enormous swelling of the diseased jaw bones clearly indicates a disease that in some cases affects its victim throughout many months. Such a condition as we found in those sheep could not have been reached in a few days after the disease became apparent. Now, in our antelopes, the collapse and death of the victim usually occurred in about 10 days from the time that the first swelling was observed: which means a very virulent disease, and rapid progress at the climax. The jaw of one of our antelopes, which was figured in Dr. Blair's paper in the Eleventh Annual Report of the New York Zoological Society (1906) shows only a very slight lesion, in comparison with those of the mountain sheep.

The conclusion is that among the sheep, this disease does not carry off its victims in any short period like 10 days. The animal must survive for some months after it becomes apparent. At least two parties of American sportsmen have shot rams afflicted with this disease, but I have no reports of any sheep having been found dead from this cause.

This disease is well known among domestic cattle, but so far as we are aware it never before has been found among wild animals. The black sheep herds wherein it was found in British Columbia are absolutely isolated from domestic cattle and all their influences, and therefore it seems quite certain that the disease developed among the sheep spontaneously,—a remarkable episode, to say the least. Whether it will exterminate the black mountain sheep species, and in time spread to the white sheep of the northwest, is of course a matter of conjecture; but there is nothing in the world to prevent a calamity of that kind. The white sheep of Yukon Territory range southward until in the Sheslay Mountains they touch the sphere of influence of the black sheep, where the disease could easily be transmitted. It would be a good thing if there existed between the two species a sheepless zone about 200 miles wide.

I greatly fear that actinomycosis is destined to play an important part in the final extinction that seems to be the impending fate of the beautiful and valuable prong-horned antelope. In view of our hard experiences, extending through ten years (1902-1912), I think this fear is justified. All persons who live in country still inhabited by antelope are urged to watch for this disease. If any antelopes are found dead, see if the lower jaw is badly swollen and discharging pus. If it is, bury the body quickly, burn the ground over, and advise the writer regarding the case.

The Rabbit Plague. —One of the strangest freaks of Nature of which we know as effecting the wholesale destruction of wild animals by disease is the rabbit plague. In the northern wilderness, and particularly central Canada, where rabbits exist in great numbers and supply the wants of a large carnivorous population, this plague is well known, and among trappers and woodsmen is a common topic of conversation. The best treatment of the subject is to be found in Ernest T. Seton's "Life Histories of Northern Animals", Vol. I, p. 640 et seq. From this I quote:

"Invariably the year of greatest numbers [of rabbits] is followed by a year of plague, which sweeps them away, leaving few or no rabbits in the land. The denser the rabbit population, the more drastically is it ravaged by the plague. They are wiped out in a single spring by epidemic diseases usually characterized by swellings of the throat, sores under the armpits and groins, and by diarrhea."

"The year 1885 was for the country around Carberry 'a rabbit year,' the greatest ever known in that country. The number of rabbits was incredible. W.R. Hine killed 75 in two hours, and estimated that he could have killed 500 in a day. The farmers were stricken with fear that the rabbit pest of Australia was to be repeated in Manitoba. But the years 1886-7 changed all that. The rabbits died until their bodies dotted the country in thousands. The plague seemed to kill all the members of the vast host of 1885."

The strangest item of Mr. Seton's story is yet to be told. In 1890 Mr. Seton stocked his park at Cos Cob, Conn., with hares and rabbits from several widely separated localities. In 1903, the plague came and swept them all away. Mr. Seton sent specimens to the Zoological Park for examination by the Park veterinary surgeon, Dr. W. Reid Blair. They were found to be infested by great numbers of a dangerous bloodsucking parasite known as Strongylus strigosus, which produces death by anemia and emaciation. There were hundreds of those parasites in each animal. I assisted in the examination, and was shown by Dr. Blair, under the microscope, that Strongylus puts forth eggs literally by hundreds of thousands!

The life history of that parasite is not well known, but it may easily develop that the cycle of its maximum destructiveness is seven years, and therefore it may be accountable for the seven-year plague among the hares and rabbits of the northern United States and Canada.

Possibly Strongylus strigosus is all that stands between Canada and a pest of rabbits like that of Australia. Just why this parasite is inoperative in Australia, or why it has not been introduced there to lessen the rabbit evil, we do not know. Mr. Seton declares that the rabbits of his park were "subject to all the ills of the flesh, except possibly writer's paralysis and housemaid's knee."

Parasitic Infection Of Wild Ducks. —The diseases of wild game, especially waterfowl, grouse and quail, have caused heavy losses in America as well as in European countries, and scientists have been carefully investigating the cause and the general nature of the maladies, as well as probable methods of prevention and cure. Mr. Geo. Atkinson, a well-known practical naturalist of Portage la Prairie, Manitoba, writes as follows to a local paper on this subject, which I find quoted in the National Sportsman: