Page:The Passenger Pigeon - Mershon.djvu/105

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Efforts to Check the Slaughter

dozen birds per day per net and some trappers will not spring a net upon less than ten dozen birds. Higher figures than these are often reached, as in the case of one trapper who caught and delivered 2,000 dozen pigeons in ten days, being 200 dozen, or about 2,500 birds per day. A double net has been known to catch as high as 1,332 birds at a single throw, while at natural salt licks, their favorite resort, 300 and 400 dozen, or about 5,000 birds have been caught in a single day by one net.

The prices of dead birds range from thirty-five cents to forty cents per dozen at the nesting. In Chicago markets fifty to sixty cents. Squabs twelve cents per dozen in the woods, in metropolitan markets sixty cents to seventy cents. In fashionable restaurants they are served as a delicious tid-bit at fancy prices. Live birds are worth at the trapper's net forty cents to sixty cents per dozen; in cities $1 to $2. It can thus be easily seen that the business, when at all successful, is a very profitable one, for from the above quotations a pencil will quickly figure out an income of $10 to $40 per day for the "poor and hard-working pigeon trapper." One "pigeoner" at the Petoskey nesting was reported to be worth $60,000, all made in that business. He must have slain at least three million pigeons to gain this amount of money.

For several years violations of the laws protecting pigeons in brooding time have been notorious in the