In todays conclusion to our series on the scrapbook assembled by Herman D. “Shorty” Schoettger, we will see a number of uncommon licenses and gain some additional insights from Shorty, himself. As we saw in Part One, his long-time sporting companion, Ira Cahoon, passed away in April of 1921. Therefore, starting around this time Shorty took on a series of partners until marrying Emma Franke in 1927 and, together, they made one last fishing trip to Florida.
Along the way will see the 1917 Florida Non-Resident Hunter’s license, the earliest hunting or fishing license that has been recorded from that state and, towards the end, we will see one of his larger newspaper articles (3/4 of a page) in its entirety. So please, enjoy the balance of Shorty’s scrapbook.
“Shorty” Kills Elk Limit
We will start today by seeing a short original article describing Shorty’s 1914 trip to Jackson Hole, Wyoming and the nearby Snake River. First, all of us at Waterfowl Stamps and More would like to apologize in advance for the unfortunate “half-breed” reference in the article. We in no way condone such speech and seriously considered not using the piece. After much deliberation it was decided that, on balance, the article’s content made an important contribution to the unique first-hand context and flavor found this series of posts (see Figure 1).
While in Wyoming, Shorty purchased a Non-Resident Hunter’s License for $50.00. The license conveyed the right to “hunt, pursue and kill Two Elk, One Deer with horns, One Male Mountain Sheep and the other game animals and game birds within the State…” (see figure 2).
The first hunting licenses were issued in Wyoming in 1899. However, due to the state’s remoteness and the high fee ($1,250.00 in 2020 dollars), early non-resident licenses are difficult to come by for Wyoming. This is the second earliest I am aware of.
In 1915, Shorty and his friends went back out west, to Chelan County Washington. It is located roughly in the center of the state, to the east of Seattle and north of the Yakima Indian Reservation. Shorty was able to purchase a Non-Resident Hunting and Fishing License for $2.00. What was included in the scrapbook appears to be a receipt, rather than the actual license (see Figure 3).
I have always been curious as to whether this piece might have been used as a license. It is serial numbered and strongly resembles a hunting or fishing license – including extensive information about the licensee (in this case Shorty). The last line is particularly interesting: “This receipt will not be recognized by [a] game warden or deputies after 30 days from date hereon.”
Shorty Returns to New Brunswick
Next we have my personal favorite piece(s) in the scrapbook – the Texas and Florida licenses not withstanding. In 1916, Shorty retuned to New Brunswick, Canada to hunt for big game. As in 1913, he obtained a Non Resident Hunting License for $50.00 that was good for killing one Bull Moose, One Bull Caribou and Two Deer. While there was no article, there was a fabulous accompanying letter of introduction for Shorty by Matthew A. Hall, the British Vice Consulate at Omaha.
Mathew Alexander Hall was born on July 11, 1862 in Scarboro, York County, Ontario, Canada to Thomas A. Hall, a farmer, merchant and stock breeder and Janet Burns. He graduated from high school in New Market, Ontario and college in Toronto. In 1886 he received a law degree from the University of Wisconsin and opened a firm with a fellow graduate, Montgomery & Hall.
In 1897 Hall was appointed by the British Government as Vice Consulate at Omaha, a position he held for many years. In 1898 he was commissioned by the Trans-Mississippi and International Exposition as special envoy to Canada and was instrumental in obtaining Canada’s participation in the exposition. At this same time he was also made president of the British-American Club and organized visits to the exhibition by many subjects of Queen Victoria around the world.
Dated September 25, 1916, the letter reads, “To The Canadian Authorities: The bearer of this letter, Hon. H.D. Schoettger, is an American citizen residing at Fontanelle, Neb., who is in the habit of making an annual hunting trip to Canada, and intends to follow his custom this Fall. Mr. Schoettger was formerly a member of the State Legislature and [is] very well known and highly respected …” (see Figures 4, 5 and 6).
In the collectibles world, provenance and documentation of an item’s history are often held in high regard. To those who are so oriented – it is the letter that makes the above pair extraordinary.
The 1917 Florida License
Next we have arguably the most important piece in the scrapbook. In 1913, The Florida Legislature created a Department of Game and Fish, as well as a State Game and Fish Commissioner’s Office. The Commissioner was responsible for enforcing the state’s wildlife laws. To facilitate enforcement, the Commissioner was authorized to issue state hunting licenses and appoint county game and fish wardens.
Then, in 1915, both the State Game Department and the Commissioner’s Office were abolished and ownership, title and responsibility for the state’s game was transferred to the individual counties. The Board of County Commissioners of each county was directed to appoint a County Game Warden and print county licenses.
In 1917 Shorty’s annual trip took him to Lee County, Florida, where he purchased a Non-Resident Hunters License for $15.00. Printed on the license is a reference to “Chapter 6969, Laws of Florida.” (see Figure 7).
The provisions of Chapter 6969 of the Acts of 1915 authorized the County Judge to retain a portion of the license fees (25 cents) “which shall cover the swearing of the applicant to the affidavit referred to in this chapter and all other services under this chapter.” In addition, a portion of the fees were required to be withheld to pay the County Game Wardens a fixed salary and the balance from license fees were credited to the school fund.
Whether or not it was always the case, it was widely believed that in order to obtain a Florida hunting license during this time, it was first necessary to take the affidavit before the County Judge. For one reason or another, apparently very few people were willing to do this.
In Hunting Licenses, Their History, Objects, and Limitations (1904), T.S. Palmer states: “In 1875 Florida adopted a statute (Acts of 1875, chap. 2055, p.62) making it unlawful for any nonresident to hunt for the of conveying game beyond the limits of the State without first obtaining from the clerk of the county in which he proposed to hunt a license at a cost of $25.”
Further, Palmer states that starting in 1899, a $10 nonresident county license was required for deer, turkeys or quail and that in starting in 1903, the $10 nonresident license was required for any game.
As with the early license requirements Palmer reported for New Brunswick (Part One), it is not clear how much licensing activity actually took place in Florida at this early date. In Fact, Palmer stated that for 1902 and 1903, no licenses were reported to have been sold in the entire state.
In Game Laws for 1917 – A Summary of the Provisions of Federal, State, and Provincial Statutes, George Lawyer revealed that Florida did not require hunting licenses to be purchased by Confederate Veterans or by residents intending to hunt in their own voting precinct.
Early hunting and fishing licenses from the deep south have always been very difficult to come by. Not only is this the earliest license recorded from the State of Florida – I am not aware of any other examples prior to 1921.
Shorty’s Third Trip to New Brunswick
There was nothing in the scrapbook from 1918 – 1920. We know that Shorty’s good friend and hunting partner Ira Cahoon was dying of cancer and it is likely that Shorty did not feel comfortable going on grand adventures during this time. In the fall of 1921, a little over five months after Ira passed away, he returned to New Brunswick for the third and final time.
Once again, he purchased a Non-Resident Hunting License for $50.00. While similar to the previous licenses, this one only conveyed “the right to kill One Bull Moose and Two Deer” – there was no mention of caribou (see Figure 8).
In 1922, Shorty visited Alberta, Canada. He purchased what I assume to be a Non-Resident General Game License for $25.00 (even though “Non-Resident does not appear on the license). I base this on the fact that $25.00 was a lot of money at that time and I have an Alberta Resident’s Bird Game License from 1920 that has a printed fee of $2.25. Once more, there was no accompanying article (see Figure 9).
Shorty’s Last Big Adventure
There was nothing in the scrapbook from 1923 – 1925. However, in 1926 Shorty went on his last big sporting adventure – a deer hunting trip to Ontario, Canada. Upon his return, a rather lengthy article appeared in The Tribune, wherein Shorty provided a detailed account of his trip.
As we are approaching the end of his story, it seems appropriate to let Shorty tell you about the trip in his own words. Therefore, we have provided you with the article in its entirety. Click on Figure 10 below to be taken to the PDF. Once there, locate the + button at the bottom right and repeatedly press it to enlarge the text to a comfortable reading size. To return to the blog, press the back arrow button located at the upper left of your browser.
While in Ontario, Shorty purchased a Non-Resident’s General License to Hunt for $41.00 which allowed him “to hunt, take or kill, during the open season, Game Animals and Birds within the Province of Ontario, up to the the 31st day of December, 1926…” (see Figure 11).
A Real Sportsman’s Honeymoon
In Part One, I explained that Shorty got married in 1927, to Emma Franke. Shorty was 56 and Emma 10 years his junior. What I did not reveal is that on the very day they were married, May 7, 1927, Shorty obtained Florida Non-Resident Fishing Licenses for each of them and they went on a real sportsman’s honeymoon! Hopefully, he finally found his soulmate – or a woman with a lot of patience (see Figure 12).
To see all of the licenses from Shorty’s scrapbook in one gallery, click here.
I hope you have enjoyed learning about Shorty Schoettger and looking through his scrapbook. I would like to thank Shorty for saving his many wonderful licenses and articles; Larry Golden for allowing me to acquire the book from him many years ago; Faith Norwood and Julie Ashton at the Washington County Historical Society for providing valuable information about Shorty and his family and for allowing us to reproduce his photos, including the great one below, and Kaiya, for enabling you to enjoy “Shorty’s Last Big Adventure” in his own words.