The Daily Courier from Connellsville, Pennsylvania on January 7, 1939 · Page 5
Get access to this page with a Free Trial

The Daily Courier from Connellsville, Pennsylvania · Page 5

Connellsville, Pennsylvania
Issue Date:
Saturday, January 7, 1939
Page 5
Start Free Trial

SATUUDAT, JANUARY 7, M l IK DAlL/i' U U U K I K K . Ul».\M'JLiUSVlLiL,t;. i'A. PAGE F1VK. Studies of the Mysteries of Migration Fascinating and Important This drawing makes it easy 1o identify the ducks thnt are especially protected by Federal law. Wood ducks arc absolutely protected. Not more than three in the aggregate may be had in one day's bag of the others. This doesn't mean that you con have three canvasbacks plus three redheads, three buffleheads and three ruddy ducks. By HENRY P. DAVIS Secretary, The American Wildlife Institute. WASHINGTON, Jan. 7.--Centuries ago Aristotle, the naturalist and philosopher of ancient Greece, stroked his square-cut chin whiskers, spat reflectively--and voiced his profound belief that certain birds hibernated, or went to sleep, during cold weather. Aristotle, didn't know where the birds went when the winter winds started howling like a politican deprived of his patronage. Today you will still find people, as much at a loss as was Aristotle, who still endorse the theory of hibernation. Aristotle also was the originator of another theory called transmutation. It was based on the fact that frequently one species will arrive from the North just as another is deporting for a point farther south. Aristotle thought that both the arriving and departing birds were one and the same. He thought their plumage changed to correspond with the summer and winter seasons. Knowing where, how and why migratory birds go in winter and summer is important--important to the sportsman, important to all those who are interested in preserving and re-j storing America's wildlife resources." That is why the United States Bureau Biological Survey is still engaged in the same subject that once Intngucd Aristotle. "We are learning fundamental facts about a resource that requires careful administration," explains Fred C. Lincoln, the Survey's bird migration expert. "If we know the times of migration, we can set the hunting seasons more intelligently. It we know the routes of migration, we know the best places to establish refuges. Our banding work tells us many things about abundance of birds. Putting such facts together provides a scientific basis for wildlife conservation and restoration." So it is that, to a large degree, when the little birdies decide to go south for the winter or come north for the summer becomes a factor that directly interests the sportsman, as well as the nature lover. To got down to basic facts, migrating birds--as every school child knows--periodically fly from one region or climate to another. Some of these birds make remarkable flights. The oft-publicized migration of the Artie Tern, for example, is and when of bird migration is highly important to the as others. Without sound knowledge of the. migration be impossible to correctly set open seasons. Then, too, the comings and goings of the winged migrants is essential shing refuges and resting places for the birds. the Northern Ice Gap grew smaller, their journeys be- The answer to that one simple, according to Lincoln. habits of migration were fixed as they We call the faculty that enables Tins theory, as you can us to find our way around a 'sense see, takes" it for gratory birds today are following habit set duiing the ice age. The opposing theory is simpler in do, they neglect it. Why, when and how they make II. mass movements Geese swarm through the air at migration time, has been the subject of deep study for thousands of thousands of years ago the ancestral is science netting the light answer. home ot all buds was in the Tropics, which finally became so overcrowded or breeding," explains Lincoln. "They simply follow the How the buds got sl.Hed m tticir more favorable conditions. migration is gcncially explained by ujt humans uiio are fortunate enough one of three theone-,. back by winter and these regulai flights became a habit. Both these theories assume that migration is an to be able to follow the weather do th? **.\iw UunK. GvnvrMb buds breed Ixst m a territory bitf enough to prov iili* enough Root! food, not only for themselves, but for the JuMy uppotitev. of their offspring;. It tells us that before fil icial ice Mngniincd habit, but neither is supported by positive biological data and climate then resembled the Tropics, There is yet another theory, that ot ice pushed ^outh, it pushed the birds photoperiodism, which attributes migration to changes m the amount of light during the seasons, but it has As the a^es passed and the ice cap gradually retreated, each spring the some very obvious loopholes that prc- tnrds t: icd to return to their ancestral vent it being widelly accepted. questions most often were driven bnck down south when asked about migrating birds is. from his breeding ground in the Artie Circle to tlie'.ic Circle--a distance of 11,000 miles, in a few month';. Even the tiny humming bird migrates, crossing the Gulf of Mexico, a distance of sonu» 500 mile*:, in a single (light. Of course, the open .MMMJUS on game birds arc always fivcd m the fall, after the birds have hatched their eggs in the North. Thus they become fair gome while they are returning to '.he south to mute. The great mystery of migration I' all the tropical, or temperate regions, there would be o\erciwvdmg breeding season. By leaving in the spring for regions they could not not why the birds make the|ha%c Incd in c.iilior in the year, the migrants llnd ample sp.tce and food. Tiie birds that don't migrate arc also movements, but how they ever got started in their semi-annual treks "The birds move about for feeding benefited by the withdrawal of those quite "Most men don't hove this faculty, or if. they Nevertheless, ex- and woodsmen frequently locate tiny camps, or other points in thick forests, even in the Birds and men'are not the only things that have this faculty. We find it -in many mammals, such as the caribou, and insects and even fish. The migrations of the salmon and the eel are examples. Birds, however, have this faculty to a remarkable degree." indeed come a long way m the study ot migration since the days when Ariftotle was emitting false words ol wisdom on the sub- It is largely to that scientific which has enabled GoN-ernment authorities to place refuges and resting places and breeding grounds at strategic points, that much of the credit must go for the new 45- day hunting season this year. Dogs Aid to Sportsmen in,Conservation of Wildlife The Setter The setter is one of the best-loved ot hunting dogs. In the photograph above one is shown bringing back the game to his master. The setter functions in the field in a manner similar to the pointer. He loves to hunt and if properly conditioned can keep the pace all day. A setter is an affectionate fellow and makes an admirable companion. The cocker spaniel derives his name from the fact that he v/as primarily used for woodcock hunting. Lively, trustworthy and gentle, the cocker is not only one of the finest ot sporting dogs, but a prime household favorite. The Pointer A pointer, the beautiful dog shown above, can be taught to retrieve but is primarily used for locating game birds. A well-trained c'Dg points game birds only. Pointers are a short-haired animal and work better in the open where they do not have to contend with thorns and briars, Nature's weapons which often cut through their thin protective coats. By HENRY P. DAVIS j (Secretary, The American Wildlife Institute.) j WASHINGTON, Jan. 7. -- More' than 100 ycnrs ago an English brig ·was wrecked off the coast of Maryland. From that wreck came the antecedents of the Chesapeake Bay Retriever, one of the best friends the American sportsman and conservationist has today. The crew and cargo and two Newfoundland puppies, a male and female, were rescued from the wrecked ship by an American vessel. History does not tell us that cither the crew or cargo were particularly important, but the record of the dogs speaks for itself. The salvaged canines wcic wonderful retrievers. In time they were bred with the Maryland hounds. Through years of breeding and crossbreeding there emerged that marvel of hunting efficiency, the Chesapeake Bay Retriever. Even though his ancestors were rcscuel from an English ship, the Chesapeake Bay Retriever is the only native American sporting dog, because those ancestors were enroute from Newfoundland when their craft piled up and they were crossed with hounds as American as apple pie for breakfast. In recent years interest in the Chesapeake Bay Retriever has. grown by bounds and leaps. This interest has spread, of course, to other breeds ot dogs thnt have a natural instinct for retrieving game, or which can be taught to retrieve. Most of these other hunting dogs do not have backgrounds quite as spectacular as the Chesapeake Bay Retriever, but their family trees can be traced back farther. The spaniel family, for instance, is one of great age. We find mention of spaniels as far back as 500 years.. Later this family was divided into two groups -- the land and water spaniels. The springer spaniel member of this family comes by his name in rather a peculiar manner. His antecedents were originally known us springing spaniels, because of their habit of springing towards game to Bush it. They do theiv job in the field well. That job is to put the game in the air, not to point it, and to retrieve it. The cocker spaniel is such a fine pet, such a sterling companion that he has become not only one ot the most popular hunting breeds in the country, but a universal house pet as well. This long-eared little fellow derives his name from the fact that he was primarily used for woodcock hunting. It is not known where the pointer originated. It was once believed the dogs first used in England for pointing came from Spam and Portugal, but it seems more likely that pointcis came into being in Spain, Portugal, the- British Isles and throughout eastern Europe at tile same time. At any rate, the pointer comes by his name m a perfectly logical manner. He was the (list dog known to "" game, in the sense that u e use the term today, and was developed as distinct bleed many yeais ago. There seems little doubt that the foxhound. greyhound, spaniel, possibly the I bloodhound and maybe tiie bulldog, all had a share in his lineage. The modern pointer is every inch a specialist--a gun dog. Ideally adapted to use in the field, he has other virtues of equal importance. The work ot the setter is of the same type as that of the pointer. The setter is a long-haired dog, which the pointer, of course, is not. So much for the history and antecedents ol a few ol our best sporting dogs. One might go on for days discussing the backgiound and sporting uses of setters, .spaniels, retrievers, fox- hounds, beagles, bird dogs, ct al, without doing justice to the subject. Many dog lovers spend lifetimes studying and discussing the subject, but never learn all there is to know about dogs. Our primary interest is in hunting dogs as an aid to conservation. Their main value to conservation lies in their ability to help the spoilsman get the game he shoots. To express it in the simple and homely language of the old hunter, "Why fatten a hog and then let his meat spoil?". The retriever doesn't let the meat spoil. The dog that "fetches" serves his master, and game, too, in many ways. In the first place he "gets the game." That pleases his master. His manner of searching foi the game, the use of his no^e, his method of quartering his giound. 01 taking signals uhile in the .Hi add to the pleasuie of the hunt Iheio is no moio thnll- nig sight than a bold hunting dog trmg to \\ork out a problem to the benefit ot his master. The dash, the fire lie shows convinces the boss that he is honestly trying his best to do the job right. The bond created right there between owner and dog makes for better sportsmanship. A icccnt state conseivation publication made the following statement: "Tiiis year hunters have" reported that they lost as many as twenty birds because they did not use Windows Built in Rabbit Ears Professor Eliot R. Clark, professor of anatomy nt the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, exhibits a rabbit with windows built m its cnrs tlnough which details of circulation can be studied. This live exhibit is one of many displayed for medical students gathered in Philadelphia for their national convention. dog for retrieving their game." A frank statement--but one which drives home the thought that many hunters fail to realize their responsibility in the field or to appreciate the fact that a good retriever will pay for his "bed and board" throughout the ycnr by bringing back one wounded bird, already doomed lo die, on one day's hunt. In that same state, according to the publication refericd to above, the use of pomteis and setters is prohibited. That sort of legislation is ridiculous to sportsmen the country over who have "been aiound" and know the value of the pointing breeds or retrioAois. Yet this publication urges the use of "rctnevcrs" in 1039. Paradoxical? Well, figure it out for yourself. The various spaniel breeds used in upland game hunting, such as the cocker, the English Springer, the Clumber, the Welsh Springer, all play an important part when it comes to finding game, and putting it in the hunter's bag after it has been shot. The pointing breeds, such as the pointer, English setter, Irish setter, Gordon setter and German Short- hair may be considered "utility" breeds. They not only locate game, and point it until the gunner arrives, but they, in most instances, are taught to retneve it after it falls. They have, also witli the spaniels, been used in making game surveys or taking game censuses on certain aieas to aid in scientific investigations. There is a certain satisfaction which a hunter derives fiom gunning behind a pair ot well trained dogs. He can experience this from no other source. He somehow loses that lust to kill. True be wants his fair share of. game, but he derives far more pleasure in watching his dogs'work. And when a bird is found, fairly shot and gently retrieved he knows the full thrill of the comradeship between man and dog--a better appreciation of the joys of hunting. No true sportsman kills for the sheer joy of .killing. He shoots because that which he shoots is fair game against which lo pit his wits and his skill. If a clean kill is made he wants that bird. If a bird is crippled, he should doubly want it, for, unless retrieved, !t will die without serving its true purpose. Any hunting dog em be taught to retrieve. This applies to so-called "specialists" and "utility" dogs. I have seen a beagle retrieve quail and swim to retrieve ducks. My father owned a fox hound which had been taught to do the same thing. The best retriever I ever saw was a little nondescript "nobody-knew- where-she-camo-Erom" canine lady which loved, more than anything else, to retrieve something--in the field or out. There isjittle excuse for any hunter saying that he lost twenty birds because he did not use a dog for retrieving. Use a retrieving dog this season. No matter what his breed may be and no matter what game you die hunting he will help you "get that cripple." By getting that cripple you'll save iced for another crop.

What members have found on this page

Get access to

  • The largest online newspaper archive
  • 8,600+ newspapers from the 1700s–2000s
  • Millions of additional pages added every month

Try it free