Market hunting

From MN150

(Difference between revisions)
Jump to: navigation, search
(Resource Links)
Line 40: Line 40:
<!-- -------- Begin media --------- -->
<!-- -------- Begin media --------- -->
-
 
+
[[Image:pf115177.jpg|thumb|center]]
 +
[[Image:pf054614.jpg|thumb|center]]
<!-- -------- End media --------- -->
<!-- -------- End media --------- -->
|}
|}

Revision as of 15:34, 28 September 2007

Winning Nomination

Minnesota is known today as a model of smart, progressive and pragmatic conservation policies. What most Minnesotans are not aware of is the large part in producing our current game-management laws and conservation movements that the practice of market hunting in the late 1800s and early 1900s had in bringing this on. This reckless process of commercially killing and selling animals, particularly ducks, completely changed the way we approach Minnesota's natural resources today--fortunately for the better.

Three lakes in particular--Heron Lake, known as the "Chesapeake of the West," Swan Lake in southern Minnesota, and Lake Christina to the north--once epitomized the wholesale slaughter of our natural resources. At one time, as many as 700,000 canvasback migrated through Heron Lake. Unfortunately, through its practices of baiting, punt guns, and indiscriminate harvesting, market hunting decimated this duck population in the name of fat profits from Twin Cities, Chicago, and the East Coast markets.

This topic would give Historical Society visitors some insight into a fascinating but lesser-known chapter in our state's history. It is one of Minnesota's and the nation's proudest examples of recognizing destructive practices and having the courage and foresight to overcome them.
~Doug Lodermeier, Minneapolis, MN



Runner-up Nominations

1906 Heron Lake Hunting Agreement, The earliest private use of a combination of regulations can be traced to the historic Heron Lake agreement of 1906. The official agreement by the lake's hunters and club members, then totaling 36, was to restrict shooting hours and maintain refuge status of the open water by restricting boat traffic and open-water hunting. The intent was to extend opportunity for all throughout the season and is still in effect today. Bellrose reported in 1944 that the most important disturbance and the one that caused ducks to avoid or leave an area was shooting in the pre-dawn or late-afternoon darkness.
~Judy Nelson, Lakefield, MN


Contents

History

Bad practices lead to better wildlife management

Seven men lined up for the camera, each with a firearm, each with a steely-eyed gaze that tells us a rifle isn't just a casual accessory. Wondering what's going on? The photo's caption reveals more of the story: "Dewey Brothers, market hunters and crack shots, Fergus Falls, about 1910."

The Dewey Brothers were participants in a practice that meant big business in Minnesota at the end of the nineteenth century and into the twentieth. Nominator Doug Lodermeier explains: "Minnesota is known today as a model of smart, progressive, and pragmatic conservation policies. What most Minnesotans are not aware of is the large part that market hunting played in producing our current game-management laws and conservation movements.

"This reckless process of commercially killing and selling animals, particularly ducks, completely changed the way we approach Minnesota's natural resources today-fortunately, for the better. Three lakes in particular-Heron Lake, known as the "Chesapeake of the West," Swan Lake in southern Minnesota, and Lake Christina to the north-once epitomized the wholesale slaughter of our natural resources. At one time, as many as 700,000 canvasback migrated through Heron Lake. Unfortunately, through practices such as baiting, punt guns, and indiscriminate harvesting, market hunting decimated this duck population in the name of fat profits from Twin Cities, Chicago, and East Coast markets."

It wasn't until 1931 that Minnesota had a Department of Conservation (renamed the Department of Natural Resources in 1971). Before then, hunting regulations were handled through a combination of governmental efforts and private initiatives. The earliest example of a private regulatory agreement came in about 1906, when a group of hunters signed the Lake Heron agreement. This act restricted shooting hours, boat traffic, and open-water hunting on the lake. Its intent was to extend opportunities to all hunters throughout the season, and it's still in effect today. The Lake Heron agreement and other such "self-policing" acts are, according to Lodermeier, "some of Minnesota's and the nation's proudest examples of recognizing destructive practices and having the courage and foresight to overcome them."


Resource Links

Share your memories on this topic

Notes


    Media
    Views
    Personal tools