18 May 2014

Pigeon Roost in the Indian Territory

Such a scene as is presented at the great wild pigeon roost in the Indian territory, some fifty miles southwest of this city, is very uncommon, and has no equal anywhere in America. The "roost" includes a space of about forty acres in the timber, and then they return to the roost in the evening the trees are perfectly black with them. The Indians who own the land will not permit other parties to take advantage of the game, but hire men who sit at the roots of trees and shoot and throw clubs all night, and the next morning the ground is literally covered with pigeons, and they are gathered up, loaded into wagons and hauled to this city, where the Indians realize from 10 to 25 cents per dozen for them. During the day only now and then a pigeon can be seen in the vicinity of the roost, but they invariably return at night. Those who own the land say they have killed dozens of wagon loads this fall and still the number does not seem to diminish in the least, nor does the nightly slaughter seem to intimidate them. — From the Joplin News.

December 20, 1878. The pigeon roost. State Journal 6(49): 6. Issued at Jefferson City, Missouri.