February 1, 1913

The chances are 10 to 1 that the groundhog will not see his shadow tomorrow, Groundhog Day, and that we will have fair weather soon. The weather bureau sees no chance for clear weather tomorrow or in the near future, but Mr. Groundhog knows if he doesn't see his shadow it will clear up soon.


The statements of prosecuting attorney E.E. Kelly and Medford sportsmen concerning impending harm to game and song birds, if the Willow Springs Grange plan of squirrel extermination be carried out, has led Ralph W. Elden, chairman of the Grange committee, to issue the following statement:

"Willow Springs Grange is most heartily in accord with Prosecuting Attorney Kelly and other Medford sportsment in their feeling that our game and song birds should not be victims of the feud between the Grangers and the squirrels. The work of extermination will be begun in an experimental way and should be observed that the methods used result fatally to the birds other methods will be devised.

"The grain that will be used in preparing the squirrel poison is barley and it will be treated in accordance with the formula issued by the bureau of biological survey, United States Department of Agriculture. Strychnia sulphate is the essential element in this formula. Concerning this poison we read in circular No. 76, bureau of biological survey, the following:

"In poisoning with strychnine the grain recommended for bait is barley. Compared with wheat it is more attractive to the squirrels and far less likely to be consumed by birds.

"The squirrels' cheek pouches are each large enough to hold 200 kernels of small grain and much of the animal's food is carried some time in these pouches. It has been discovered that strychnine is far more quickly absorbed by the cheek pouches than in the stomach and that one fifth the quantity necessary to kill by the stomach will kill when taken by the pouches.

"The fact seems to indicate that poison prepared under this formula is relatively weak in animals not having cheek pouches or in birds.

"The circular further states: Deplorable destruction of birds has followed poisoning with both cyanide and phosphorus and also with strychnine when used on wheat, oats and Egyptian corn, but few birds will eat coated barley that scarcely half a dozen all told have been found dead after poisoning many thousands of acres with the starch, strychnine and barley preparation. The poison should be scattered (not placed in heaps) on clean hard places about the colonies on trails between holes and on other places frequented by the squirrels."

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