AMERICAN GAME

proved by the results achieved in Texas,
as reported before the Seventeenth Amer-
ican Game Conference by J. G. Burr, di-
rector of research of the Texas, Game,
Fish and Oyster Commission. He de-
clared that now the farmer has become
the ally of the state, both in the rearing
and harvesting of game.
In AMERICAN GAME, Mr. Aldo Leo-
pold, who is conducting a national game
survey for the Sporting Arms and Am-
munition Manufacturer's Institute, suc-
cinctly remarks: "An American national
game policy has been delayed over long.
The game stock is losing by delay. . . . We
sportsmen are on the carpet. We are being
watched by some with interest, by others,
exasperation. I am afraid the farmers,
without whom we can do nothing, are
among these. Our whole game situation
demands a positive program-shouting
outworn formulas only makes matters
worse."
S O it is Game Restoration vs. Destruc-
tive Lethargy! What are the stakes?
First, existence of a great recreational
asset, state character and the upbuilding
of public sentiment in the salvage of a
robust heritage. Inspirational assets pure-
ly, but without them as "self starters,"
the jig is up in Tennessee, or any other
state. Second, steady decline of game
crops and current curtailment in open
seasons, making for serious inroads upon
economic and industrial life. Birds can-
not be "lawed" back onto over-shot and
vermin ridden areas. Once below a cer-
tain danger level, game resources dwindle
with the stunning rapidity of funds leav-
ing a "busted" bank. And game species,
as seen through the troubled eyes of his-
tory, can become as extinct as a volcano.
When the game goes, then, through either
actual shrinkage or the law of closed and
restricted seasons, so vanish certain types
of "livings" and "businesses." The na-
tional turnover from one shooting season
alone amounted last year to a full half
billion dollars, exclusive of fishing's share.
Is it not time, therefore, that game res-
toration, as a tremendously potential
business asset, be given more educational
publicity and "reader interest" in the eyes
of the world?
Tennessee functions under an anti-
quated and unwieldy game code. The
emergency quail situation is an example.
State Game Warden Howell E. Buntin is
an experienced and intelligent sportsman,
well versed in quail control and the gen-
eral environmentals necessary for upland
game and wildfowl. But he was without

power to abruptly close the quail shoot-
ing season in such as the present crisis.
Such action must await the Legislature;
too late to save bird stock this season,
and late enough to jeopardize next year
in case conditions bring forth an im-
proved hatch. There are points in the
present code which impede convictions on
quail bootlegging.
Two years ago an effort was made to
establish a separate department of game
and fish. It seemed, however, under an
administrational pledge to the policy of
former Governor Peay, well nigh con-
stitutionally, or perhaps politically un-
wise to divorce game and fish from its
parent department of agriculture. And
there the matter has rested. As matters
now stand, when a Tennessee gunner puts
up $2.00 or $1.00 for a shooting license,
his money goes into a general fund. When
ramifications of general expenditure are
boiled down, the sportsman's allocation
coming out of the wash for game restora-
tion is about 30 cents on his dollar.
About all we get is a modicum of en-
forcement or warden work, a restricted
amount of educational matter circu-
larized, and whatever else the state war-
den can salvage for breeding stock here
and there. There is no innuendo in these
statements. It is merely exposition of an
antiquated way of handling game and
fish matters.
Tennessee shooting licenses, again for
instance, can be had only at county court
clerk offices over the state. An applicant
must first discover their whereabouts, and
present himself between certain hours.
Othrwise he takes a chance without a
license. Many do, otherwise lawfully in-
clined. In Memphis, sportsmen buy thou-
sands of dollars worth of Arkansas fish-
ing and shooting permits from accredited
sporting goods stores-but not Ten-
nessee's. Thousands of dollars are thus
lost in the state. Warden Buntin works
with dulled tools. Proper game admin-
istration requires funds first; public edu-
cation, second; restoration and protec-
tion, third.
Tennessee is approximately 540 miles
long by 135 miles wide. Its terrain, vary-
ing from alluvial riparians to full moun-
tainous, with a rolling middle ground
second to none as mixed upland game
covert, is perfectly adapted for varying
species. Eastward there is a nucleus of
little known ruffed grouse, some few
deer, fewer wild turkeys and an odd bear
family or so. There are trout streams and
bass rivers, with quite a bit of pollution
and   dynamiting.    We    have   turkey
grounds in the western sunk lands and
natural statewide covet for bob white
and rabbit culture. Warden Buntin has
made a fine beginning by building fish
hatcheries and laying the ground work
for establishment of county game refuges.
There is no reason in the world why,
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SETH  GORDON, n a t i 0 n ally
known conservation director of
the Izaak Walton League of
America, succeeded the late Carlos
Avery as president of the Ameri-
can Game Association on January
1.
Mr. Gordon has given 20 years
to the fostering of interest and
legislation in behalf of game and
wild-life conservation, first as
executive secretary of the Penn-
sylvania Gaine Coinmission, and
for the past four and a half years
as director of the Izaak Walton
League's conservation efforts.
Of him Ross L. Leffler, presi-
dent of the Pennsylvania commis-
sion, said: "We are very proud of
Seth Gordon in Pennsylvania. We
feel that he is our boy, for there
he started at the bottom and
worked to the top. He was in
charge of our work during the
formative years of our nationally
recognized conservation program.
He is one of the really outstand-
ing conservationists of the coun-
try."
Mr. Gordon's tasks have taken
hin into every state. He has in-
spected conditions in nearly every
major hunting and fishing area.
An   enthusiastic sportsman  in
practice as well as in theory, he
has fished and hunted in most of
these areas.

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