Page:The Passenger Pigeon - Mershon.djvu/100

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Netting the Pigeons

which are bent so that they do not quite meet. Great care must be taken not to shed blood on the bed, for the pigeons notice this at once and are much alarmed by it. Young birds can be netted in wheat stubble in the autumn, but this is seldom attempted. When just able to fly, however, they are caught in enormous numbers near the "nestings" in pens made of slats. A few dozen old pigeons are confined in the pens as decoys, and a net is thrown over the mouth of the pen when a sufficient number of young birds have entered it.

Mr. Stevens has known over four hundred dozen young pigeons to be taken at once by this method. The first birds sent to market yield the netter about one dollar a dozen. At the height of the season the price sometimes falls as low as twelve cents a dozen. It averages about twenty-five cents.