18 May 2014

Big Pigeon Hunt by Professional Hunters in Tennessee

Big Pigeon Hunt by Professional Hunters

Three gentlemen of Philipsburg, Pennsylvania, Messrs. Charles Copelin, Frank Chickering and John J. Swartz, professional pigeon hunters, arrived in this city yesterday from Michigan, having followed a large body of wild pigeons from Grand Rapids, through Indiana and Kentucky to this State. They came by way of Cumberland Gap and are, we believe, the first professional pigeon hunters who ever came South in pursuit of their game.

Mr. Copelin remained in the city last night while the other two gentlemen went down the road to Ooltewah, a short distance from Chattanooga, in two miles of which place the pigeons are said to be roosting in large numbers.

The birds are taken in an enormous net, into which they are decoyed by a stool-pigeon, fastened there for the purpose. When caught, they are sent to New York for market, where they bring, on an average, $2.00 per dozen. It is a paying business in the Northwest, where they are caught in immense numbers. Sixty dozens are sometimes caught at one spring of the net. On an extraordinary occasion a train carried nine tons of these pigeons from Michigan to New York, which so flooded the market as to reduce the price to 75 cents per dozen.

October 26, 1871. Big pigeon hunt. Knoxville Daily Chronicle 2(148): 4.