Howard Thornsberry

  • Herb Dill, Refuge Manager, and Howard (Hawkshaw) Thornsberry, Maintenance Man, together invented the Cannon Net Trap at Swan Lake National Wildlife Refuge in Sumner, Missouri in the late 1940’s. Their prototype was built of scrap and salvaged materials for a mere $21.00. It allowed for the capture of numerous geese at one time, facilitating banding. Before this innovation, geese were caught in baited pen traps, which caught very few geese, which ‘with the uncooperative patience of wild things,…would stand and stand, talking it over dubiously while the man waiting nearby would slowly and blasphemously freeze to death.’

    –Saturday Evening Post, March 10, 1951