Wildlife Conservation Society: Library & Archives

Hornaday Wildlife Conservation Scrapbooks

Volume 9 concerns Hornaday’s campaign throughout the 1920s for reductions in both bag limits and open seasons on waterfowl. Dubbed the “Bag Limit War” by Hornaday, the campaign followed upon the passage of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918 and Hornaday’s appointment to the Migratory Bird Treaty Act Advisory Board. Although the federal government had imposed a bag limit in 1918, Hornaday felt the limit was too high, and in 1923, he proposed to the Board a fifty percent reduction in both bag limits and open seasons. When the board rejected Hornaday’s proposal, he resigned, accusing his fellow board members of being anti-conservationist and influenced by firearms and ammunitions manufacturers. He spent the following years carrying out his Bag Limit War under the flag of the Permanent Wild Life Protection Fund.

Compiled with the assistance of Edith Helen Franz, volume 9 contains clippings, publications, and correspondence documenting this war, which turned vicious at times as Hornaday attacked the opposition in both popular publications and private correspondence. Additionally documented is the 1929 Migratory Bird Conservation Act, also known as the Norbeck Bill, designed to provide reserves for the protection of migratory birds. Finally, volume 9 covers the Bag Limit War’s eventual resolution (and Hornaday’s victory) in 1930 with the passage of bag limit reductions. Hornaday continued to document these topics in volume 10.

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