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Wisconsin. State Conservation Committee (1915-27) / Biennial report of the State Conservation Commission of Wisconsin for the years 1915 and 1916

Ducks,   pp. 48-49 PDF (461.8 KB)

Geese,   p. 49 PDF (255.1 KB)

The federal migratory bird law,   pp. 49-50 PDF (511.4 KB)

Page 49

of birds has been as great as this year, and many are making the lake
regions of the northern part of the state their nesting grounds. Since the
enactment of the proper kind of state and Federal laws for their protection,
there has been noted everywhere a marked increase compared to the de-
cline noted when unregulated hunting was allowed.
   In our judgment it should not be the purpose of any restrictive law to
 make it so unreasonable as to preclude the possibility of the sportsmen
 bagging a legitimate limit. And in discussing this question we do not
 want to be understood as favoring a law that will open up the way for
 wholesale slaughter, but we do believe that the present law restricting
 the hours to a "sunrise and sunset" schedule is drawing the line
a little
 too close. In our judgment this law could be extended to 20 minutes
 before sunrise and 20 minutes after sunset without infringing upon the
 safety in proper protection. Our very best sportsmen who are as strongly
 in favor of proper protection as any member of this commission and who
 are giving us most valuable assistance in the enforcement of the game laws,
 contend that our present law is too restrictive and should be changed as
 suggested above.
   Wood duck are responding to the closed season provided for them six
 years ago and are coming back in large numbers. Our wardens report
 large flocks of them in every part of the state where a few years ago they
 were seldom seen. Mallards, teal, canvasbacks, redhead, pintail and coots
 are found in large numbers throughout the watered districts of the state.
   So we feel safe in saying that our waterfowl are on the increase and they
will continue to be a great source of pleasure and profit to all that enjoy
the sport of hunting.
  Geese have never been considered much of an asset to the sportsmen of
Wisconsin. This is easily accounted for, as geese only light in a wide
open space of country where their vision is not restricted. Their instinct
of avoiding danger is much more keen than that of the other species. They
adhere assiduously to nature's warning that self preservation is the first
law of nature, and they take no chances. The only places in Wisconsin
where any shooting of geese is reported is in Jefferson, Dane, Rock and
Walworth counties. They frequently, while on their flight south, light
in the open fields of these counties and some of our sportsmen usually
wait their coming and occasionally bag a few of them; but these instances
are rare.
  The Federal Migratory Bird law which directs the Department of
Agriculture to adopt suitable regulations and prescribe a fixed open and
closed season for migratory birds has done more to conserve the migratory
birds than all the laws ever passed by any of the states since the necessity
for passing protective game laws was conceived. The game laws which

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