22 November 2014

Interstate Commerce of Nebraska Prairie Chickens

Interstate Commerce in Game.

Theodore Sherman Palmer. Interstate commerce in game. Federal game protection - a five years' prospect. Reprint from the yearbook of the Department of Agriculture for 1905. Electronic document found at books.google.com.
The following paragraph is important because of the key element it indicates in regards to the harvest of prairie chickens within Nebraska. There is no other known source which conveys such an immense taking and what had to be the resultant game trade.

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"Until recently Chicago and St. Louis were the largest game markets in the West. The conditions in these cities illustrate clearly the difficulties encountered in protecting game, and at the same time show the progress recently made in game-law enforcement. In 1900, nonexport laws were on the statute books of all the States of the Northwest except Nebraska and Montana. In Missouri the local law did not affect shipment or sale of game from other states States, while in Illinois, imported game could be sold without restriction as late as February 1. Under these conditions, the game trade in Chicago and St. Louis flourished in spite of State laws, and enormous quantities of deer, grouse, prairie chickens, quail, and ducks were handled each season. Quail and grouse were received by the barrel and ducks and venison in larger quantities. A single consignment of game from Nebraska received at Chicago in 1900 contained no less than 87 barrels of prairie chickens, and a rough estimate of the number of these birds killed in Nebraska that year placed it at about 5 millions, of which 1 million were killed for local consumption and 4 millions for shipment beyond the State."

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