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California Fish and Game
V. 2 1916
Bound volume



FEB23 fflB

m California Fish and Game
V. 2 1916
Bound volume

NOV i ^358




California Resources Agency Library

1416 9th Street, Room 117

Sacramento, California 95814

fObl CALIfy


FORNIA Carl Westerfeld 3

VALLEY QUAIL C. C. Pierce and M. T. Clcgg 11

METHODS Dwight G. French 14

AND GAME Clias. C. Adams 19

EDIBLE CRAB F. W. Weymouth 22








Violations of Fish and Game Laws 52

Seizures and searcties 53

Financial report 54


California Fish and Game




By Carl Westerfeld, Member California Fisli and Game Commission.

The San Francisco Examiner, in its editorials entitled "Breeding
Game in Scotland," published July 31, 1915, and "New Proof of Our
Game Law Folly," published November 3, 1915, commends to the
"prayerful consideration of the Fish and Game Commission the study
of game conditions under the Scottish practice of breeding and killing
game. ' '

We were already familiar with game condition.s prevailing in Great
Britain, but in order to refresh our memories we took some pains to
review the game laws and conditions of that country.

We are indeed surprised that the Examiner, which has hitherto so
severely criticized the gun clubs and game preserves of California,
should now suggest to Governor Johnson the upsetting of "the entire
project of conserving game for the few and .substituting for it the
honest, well-established method of conserving it for the many," as
practiced in Scotland. The preserve system Avhieh the Examiner has
so bitterly condemned flourishes to a greater extent in Great Britain
than in any other countrj^ There a few of the nobility and millionaires
own all the land where game is found and only men and their
friends are permitted to hunt.

On examining the "game conditions under the Scottish practice of
breeding' and killing game" we find at the very outset that the game
laws of Scotland and those of the United States rest upon entirely
different foundations. In America the wild game belongs to the people
in their sovereign capacity and is not subject to private dominion to
any greater extent than the people through the legislature mav see
fit to make it. (Geer vs. Ct., 161 U. S. 519; Ex parte Maier, 103 Cal.
476; Kellogg vs. King, 114 Cal. 388.)

On the other hand, in Great Britain there has been grafted much
legislation upon the rules of the common law "which up till the end
of the eighteenth century was framed for the preservation of deer and
game for the recreation of persons of fortune and of preventing per-
sons of inferior rank from squandering, in pursuit of game, time, which
their stations in life required to be more profitably employed." (XI
Encyclopedia Brittanica, 11th edition, p. 440.) The right to take game
was made to depend on the social rank of the person. Even now in
Scotland the right to hunt is theoretically reserved to persons who have
inherited that unknown quantity, a "ploughgate of land." (Scots
Act 1621, c. 31) ; and in Ireland qualifications by estate are necessary
for killing game and keeping sporting dogs. (Irish Act 1698, 8 Will.
Ill, c. 8.)

In Great Britain, where the right to take deer and game is not in the
crown by prerogative, or by franchise {raiionc privilegii) in the
grantee of the rights of chase, park or free warren, which are anterior



to and superior to those of the ownner or occupier of the lands
over which the privilege has been granted, ''the right to take or kill
■wild animals is treated as a proiit incidental to the ownership or occu-
pation of the land on which they are found, and there is no public right
to take them on private land or even a highway, nor is there any method
known to the law where the public at large, or an undefined body of
persons, can lawfullv acquire the right to take wild animals in alinio
solo." (XI Ency. Brit., 11 ed., p.^MO; The Laws of England [The
Earl of ITalsbury] Vol. 15, p. 212.)

To preserve this right to the owners or occupiers of the land the
most drastic trespass laws have been enacted in Great Britain. A tres-
passer on another man's land in pursuit of game renders himself both
criminally and civilly liable. In a criminal action the penalty for tres-
passing on the land of another in pursuit of game is very severe; if
done in the day time the offender is liable to a penalty of £5. If the tres-
passing is in search of game or rabbits in the night time the maximum
penalty on a first conviction is imprisonment with hard labor for not
over three months; on a second, imprisonment with hard labor not over
six months. For the first or second offense the conviction is summary,
i. e., without trial by jury, subject to appeal to a court of session, but
for a third offense the offender is tried on indictment and is liable to
penal servitude from three to seven years, or imprisonment with hard
labor for two years. If the offenders assault or offer violence by fire-
arms or offensive weapons they are liable to be indicted, and on con-
viction punished to the same extent as in the last offense (The Night
Poaching Act 1828, 9 Geo. IV, c. 69). In 1844 the above penalties were
extended to persons found by night on highways in search or pursuit
of game. If three or more trespass together on land by night, or destroy
game or rabbits, and any of them is armed with firearms, bludgeon
or other offensive weapons, they are liable to be indicted, and on con-
viction sentenced to penal servitude, from three to fourteen years, or
imprisonment with hard labor for two years (Act of 1828, Sec. 12;
Act 1831. Sec. 34). The Game Act of 1831 gives lords of manors and
privileged persons certain rights to appoint gamekeepers with special
powers to protect game in districts over which their rights extend.
(Sec. 13, 14 and 16.) It is not necessary in Great Britain for the owner
to summon a public officer in order to make an arrest lor trespassing
in pursuit of game. This may be done hy the owner or occupier of the
land, his servants or gamekeepers. Even in the Night Poaching Act
of 1844, which applies to highways, the arrest of offenders is made
by owners, occupiers and their gamekeepers.

The term "game," as defined by the Night Poaching Act of 1828
and the Game Act of 1831, includes pheasants, partridges, red grouse,
bustard and hare. Deer are considered even more sacred than game.
It is a fclojiij to hunt or kill deer in enclosures, in forests, chases or
purlieus, or in enclosed land where deer are usually kept, or after a
previous conviction to hunt or kill deer in the open parts of the forest.
(Larceny Act 1861.)

These are the laws wliich the Examiner so prayerfully commends to
the consideration of the Pish and Game Commission. Does the Exami-
ner advocate the adoption of similar laws in the State of California?
Is this the Exaimtner's "honest, well established method of conserving
(game) for the many?"


As a result of these laws game and deer in Great Britain are most
carefully protected by the owner or occupier of the land. Pheasants,
partridges and other game birds and deer are reared artificially in
great numbers, very much in the same manner as poultry and cattle
are reared in California. The laws of Great Britain guard the interests
of the land owner in game and deer so well against poaching that it
is to the financial interest of the owner to protect it.

In many parts of Great Britain the importance of the sporting rights
of an estate now more than counterbalance its agricultural value, and
enormous sums are annually devoted to the artificial production of
game. Taking all contingent expenses into consideration, the average
cost of every head of game killed (this does not include deer) may be
taken as not less than three shillings. A hand-reared pheasant can
scarcely be brought to the gun for less than seven or eight shillings;
and these birds in particular — the partridges and wild ducks to a
lesser but steadily increasing extent — are reared in tens of thousands,
every year. (XXIV Ency. Brit. 11 Ed. p. 995.)

The nobleman who kills over 1,000 brace of grouse or hand-reared
pheasants in a single day, or 200 stags in a season, can not, of course,
eat them all himself, and in order to lessen the tremendous cost of
artificially rearing and protecting game and of maintaining his hunting-
preserve, he sends to the market the game he can not eat. Because
of the value of the game to the land owner and his right to control the
hunting of it on his property, limit laws are unnecessary in Great
Britain. Every owner permits only such hunting as will not impair
his breeding stock, just as cattle men or poultry raisers in California
kill or ship only the surplus cattle or chickens to market and retain a
sufficient number as breeding stock.

It is true as said in the Examiner ' ' that although Scotland is a small
and well populated country" and "although game has been hunted
and killed in Scotland for hundreds of years" certain species of game
are still plentiful. This is due to artificial propagation and the fact
that owing to the rigid trespass laws only the owners or occupiers of
the land are permitted to hunt. It is not true, however, that under
the Scottish practice the "common people" are entitled to hunt, or
that the game is preserved for them, nor is it true that the wild fowl
is still plentiful in Scotland, or anywhere else in Great Britain. The
natural wild fowl have been almost exterminated in Great Britain —
"the districts are unhappily few and far between where even a mod-
erate bag of edible wild fowl can be made nowadays." (XXIV Ency.
Brit., 11 ed., p. 998.) "Wild fowl are migratory and can not be kept
upon any man's land except to a slight extent when raised artificially.
The deer and game birds of Scotland too would have been exterminated
long ago were they not so carefully preserved for the land owner and
occupier, i. e., the nobleman and the millionaire.

"Any person before he shall in Great Britain take, kill or pursue
or aid or assist in any manner in the taking, killing or pursuing by
any means whatever * * * any game * * * or any deer shall
take out a proper license to kill game," costing £3 or $15.00. (Game
License Tax 1860.) Gamekeepers and servants who assist the wealthy
sportsmen as gun bearers, beaters, etc., must under this act have a
game license, but even including all these only 68,000 game licenses are
issued annually in Great Britain and Ireland and the population of.'
Great Britain and Ireland is 45,250,000.


In California with a population of 2,500,000 over 164,000 hunting
licenses costing only $1.00 apiece are sold annually.

If hunting licenses were sold in Great Britain and Ireland in the
same proportion to the population as they are in California almost
3,000,000 licenses would be sold there annually.

In California one out of every fifteen men, women and children
hunts, while in Great Britain and Ireland only one out of every 665
has that privilege. In other words, in proportion to the population,
forty-four times as many people hunt in California as in Great Britain
and Ireland. Evidentlj^ the "common people" do not have much
opportunity to hunt under the Scottish system. Do these figures show
that in California game is being conserved for "the few" and that in
Great Britain it is being conserved for "the many"?

Neither grouse shooting nor deer hunting in Scotland is a poor man's
sport. j\lr. Grimble in his work "Deer Stalking and the Deer Forests
of Scotland," p. 89, says: "In the two counties of Argyle and Inverness
only and leaving Mr. Winans out of the calculation, there are a dozen
deer forests which let at a total of £25,000! — an average of over £2,000
each per year. For practically two months' sport, a rental of £250
a week, or over £40 a day is paid. This sum does not include attend-
ants' expenses, which sum sometimes amounts to very nearly as much
again." And Lord Lovat in "Grouse in Health and Disease,"
p. XVIII, says: "It has been estimated that the approximate value
of the grouse moors in Scotland is about £1,000,000 a year in gross rent,
and in England not less than £270,000."

The total area of Scotland is 19,069,500 acres. Of this more than
one-fifth, 4,000,000 acres, is devoted to deer forests, and these 4,000,000
acres are owned by less than seventy individuals, most of whom belong
to the nobility and all of whom are extremely wealthy. The Duke of
Sutherland alone owns 257,000 acres of deer forests in Scotland, the
Duke of Fife 110,000 acres, and Lord Lovat 101,000 acres. Nobody is
permitted to hunt on any of these lands without the consent of the
owners. Less than seventy men therefore control all the deer hunting
of Scotland. These men carefully conserve the game on their lands
and but comparatively few^ men are invited to hunt. For example,
the Duke of Fife, the o-wTier of the Forest of Mar, consisting of 110,000
acres, limits the hunters to five a day and does not permit more than
200 stags per year to be killed. (Grimble, Deer Stalking and the Deer
Forests of Scotland, p. 172.) So in the smaller forest of Glenealley by
Glenilsa, consisting of 3,000 acres, only one person per day is permitted
to hunt during a limited season of two months, and the kill of stags
averages about twenty-seven a year. (Ihul., 209.) The author of the
book, Mr. Grimble, in the preface, himself laments that he can no
longer hunt in certain forests because the former owners (his friends)
have died. He says:"* * * Avoe is me that I am unlikely ever again
to spy their splendid corries, for, alas ! the four kind friends who respec-
tively held them in the days when I first wrote have all joined in the
great majority."

It is the same with the hunting of grouse, pheasants, blackcock, part-
ridge and all other game birds. Immense tracts of land w'hich are
rigidly preserved are owned by a few nobles and millionaires. Only
they and their friends are permitted to hunt to the utter exclusion of
the inferior classes.


The Examiner in its editorial of November 3, charges that "the
deer are preserved for the rich sportsmen friends of the Fish and Game
Commission." Let us examine the facts. The official railroad map of
California, issued by the Railroad Commission of the State of Cali-
fornia, showing the National Forest Reserves, shows that these reserves
include the districts where the best deer hunting in California is to be
had. They include nearly all of Trinity County and a large part of
Del Norte, Siskiyou, Shasta, Modoc, Lassen, Plumas, Sierra, Nevada,
Placer, Eldorado, Alpine, Tuolumne, Mono, Mariposa, Madera, Fresno,
Inyo, Tulare, Kern, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Ventura, Los
Angeles, San Benito, Orange, Riverside, San Diego, Monterey, San
Bernardino, Lake, Mendocino, Glenn, Tehama, and Humboldt counties.

Fig. 1. Map of California showing National Forests, in which, with the exception of those
forming game refuges, hunting is free to all. The National Forests in California com-
prise 19,000,000 acres. (Courtesy United States Forest Service.)


In all there are almost 19,000,000 acres of land included in these
forest reserves and there are over 21,000,000 acres of government land
outside of the reserves, makincr over 40.000.000 acres of Ihe best deer
(.'ountry in the State of Calif urnia, owned by the United States govern-
ment, upon which any citizen may hunt by procuring a license costing
one dollar. None of this land is, or ever can be "preserved for the
rich sportsmen friends of the Fish and Game Commission." As a
matter of fact there are very few acres in the State of California which
are preserved for the purpose of hunting deer. A few clubs exist for
that purpose in the counties of ]\Iarin and San ]\Iateo, but elsewhere in
this state they are practically unknown.

The people of California have, therefore, government lands equal
to twice the area of Scotland on which to hunt deer, besides all the land
which is privately owned and upon which hunting by the public is

Practically the same method of conserving game as that practiced
in California is followed throughout the United States.

In estimating the whole number of hunters in the United States
we arrive at some astonishing results. In an article in the Saturday
Evening Post of November 13, 1915, it is said :

"Covering the year 1913 — the latest available in view of the conflictinp: dates of
the several fiscal years — the association's report (American Game Protective and
Propagation Association) shows that two million three hundred and twenty-five
thousand shooting licenses were issued by the several states. It is estimated that
in the year 1915 this number will exceed two million five hundred thousand. It is
concluded that a million men hunt who are exempt from license requirements. In
addition to these legal exemptions it is likely that more than a million men evade
the law and hunt illegally.

"Taking figures and estimates combined, it seems fair to suppose that there are
five million hunters in the United States. This is also about the estimate made by
the Department of Agriculture.


"Of shotgun ammunition alone more than a billion shells are sold in the United
States each year. (Retailing at about $30,000,000.) There are thirty-five million
clay birds or targets shot at every year in America (costing the shooters about
$500,000). There are five hundred thousand shotguns and rifles sold to sportsmen
in America each year (bringing easily from $10,000,000 to $15.0OO.OO!>). There are
forty-five hundred gun clubs in the United States. On the whole, the outdoor
sportsmen of America who do not confine their enjoyment altogether to proxy
sports or commercialized sports — the men who at least have smelt powder — make a
very respectable nucleus of military possibility. Rather let us call it efiicient busi-
ness possibility.

"The capitalization of American outdoor sports runs into very large figures.
When we come to transportation, hotel bills, guides, equipment and so on. as
required by the sportsmen tourists who hunt and fish, we run into very many mil-
lions of dollars."

There can be no question but what the training these men obtain in
the pursuit of game develops the very qualities which make good sol-
diers. This training has been in the past and will be in the future a
tremendous a.sset to tlie United States in the event of war. Colonel
Roosevelt in the introduction to his work on "The Deer Family" at
page 24 says :

"There are many sides to the charm of big game hunting; nor should it be
regarded as being without its solid advantages from the standpoint of national
character. Always in our modern life, the life of a highly complex industrialism,
there is a tendency to softening of the fibre. This is true of our enjoyments ; and
it is no less true of very many of our business occupations. It is not true of such
work as railroading, a purely modern development, nor yet of work like that of


those who man the fishing fleets ; but it is pre-eminently true of all occupations which
cause men to lead sedentary lives in great cities. For these men it is especially
necessary to provide hard and rough play. Of course, if such play is made a
serious business, the result is very bad ; but this does not in the least affect the
fact that within proper limits the play itself is good. Vigorous athletic sports
carried on in a sane spirit are healthy. The hardy out-of-door sporls of the wilder-
ness are even healthier. It is a mere truism to say that the qualities developed by
the hunter are the qualities needed by the soldier ; and a curious feature of the
changed conditions of modern warfare is that they call to a much greater extent
than during the two or three centuries immediately past, for the very qualities of
individual initiative, ability to live and work in the open, and personal skill in the
management of horse and weapons, which are fostered by a hunter's life. No
training in the barracks or on the parade ground is as good as the training given
by a hard hunting trip in which a man really does the work for himself, learns to
face emergencies, to study country, to perform feats of hardihood, to face exposure
and undergo severe labor. It is an excellent thing for any man to be a good horse-
man and a good marksman, to be able to live in the open and to feel a self-reliant
readiness in any crisis. Big came hunting tends to produce or develop exactly these
physical and moral traits. To say that it may be pursued in a manner or to an
extent which is demoralizing is but to say what can likewise be said of all other
pastimes and of almost all kinds of serious business. That it can be abused either
in the way in which it is done, or the extent to which it is carried, does not alter
the fact that it is in itself a sane and healthy recreation."

The chief complaint of the Examiner seems to be that game is not
as plentiful in our markets as in the markets of Europe. Game possibly
would be plentiful in our markets if the shooting were limited as in
England to the owner or occupier of the land on which it is found,
but this would mean the adoption of the European system under which
only the wealthy can hunt. Instead of five million hunters in the
United States there would be about one-fiftieth of that number or
100,000. The poor man under the European conditions can not afford
to hunt.

A supply of game in the markets would be of no particular benefit
to the poor man because under ordinary conditions he could not afford
to buy it. In thickly populated countries game always has been and
always will be a luxury. It costs more than other meat because it is
not so plentiful and is more expensive to raise. If at any particular
time game has cost less than beef it was due to some unusual condition
which was only temporary.

In California every effort has been made by the present Fish and
Game Commission to have people engage in the business of raising game
for the markets. One of the principal reasons for the establishment of
the State Game Farm at liayward was to instruct people how pheasants
and other game birds could be raised artificially. Since the establish-
ment of the game farm hundreds have been raising pheasants for the
market and these birds can now be had in any first-class restaurant in
San Francisco. In 1913, owing to the efforts of the Fish and Game
Commission, the "Bowman Act" was passed, which permits the raising
and sale in California of all .kinds of hand-reared game. For several
years past reindeer meat has been offered for sale in the markets and
restaurants of San Francisco. Several men are now engaged in raising
deer in captivity and hope some day to supply our markets with veni-
son, but this will take time and the expenditure of much money. For
example, under the ''Scottish practice of breeding and killing game

} )


enormous sums have been spent in the raising of deer. A witness who
was examined before the Royal Commission testified:

"I have planted S.OOO acres with twenty-four million trees, and that I am going on
with as quickly as the season permits ;

"I have put up more than scvouty-slx miles of my own internal fences, and I
haA'e joined with my neighboring proprietors in putting up more than thirty-four
miles of march fence.

"I have made 473 miles of open drains ; I have made over twenty miles of car-
riage road and more than eighteen miles of pony tracks and walks; the whole outlay
I have made during twelve years has been £180,000. or an average of £15,000 a
year spent entirely in the county!" (Grimble, "Deer [?talkiug and the Deer Forests
of Scotland." p. 91.)

From this testimony it would appear tliat the raising of deer for

Online LibraryCalifornia. Dept. of Fish and GameCalifornia fish and game (Volume 2, 1916) → online text (page 1 of 30)