Skip to main content

Bert Popowski Papers

Filter Finding Aids

University Archives- Faculty Papers

Manuscript Archives- Personal Papers

Finding Aid

Download Finding Aid and Container List

Collection Summary


MA 5


Bert Popowski papers


Popowski, Bert, 1904-1982




6.65 linear feet (10 boxes) photographs, sound recording




South Dakota State University Archives and Special Collections, Hilton M. Briggs Library, Brookings, South Dakota.

Access note

This collection is open to researchers without restrictions. The materials in the Archives do not circulate and may be used in-house only.

Preferred Citation

Name of item . Bert Popowski papers. MA 5. South Dakota State University Archives and Special Collections, Hilton M. Briggs Library, Brookings, South Dakota.


Bert Popowski is noted as an outdoor writer. He wrote books concerning various aspects of outdoor sports such as hunting and fishing. His writings emphasized the important of habitat management. This collection is composed of articles, manuscripts, and materials related to Popowski's career as author and hunter.

Biographical Note

Bert John Popowski was born in Grafton, North Dakota on February 15, 1904. He lived in Grafton throughout his elementary and high school years. He attended South Dakota State College in Brookings, South Dakota and graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in printing in 1926. He married Harriet Seymour of Aberdeen, SD in 1930. They had two sons, John Seymour and Jerome Bert.

Throughout his career, Bert lived in various areas of the United States and held several different jobs, ranging from a high school principal to associate editor for Look Magazine. From 1951 to his death in 1982, he worked as a freelance writer, author, and contributing editor for several publications.

During a career that spanned half a century, Bert wrote over 2,300 articles. His first feature story appeared in Outdoor Life in 1931. He served as contributing editor for The American Rifleman writing a column titled "Dope Bag." He also wrote columns for several other magazines, including "Hunting" for The Outdoorsman, "Guns and Ammunition" for Hunting & Fishing, and "The Shot Tower" for Guns and Hunting. He wrote several major books and gained national prominence with his classic Hunting Pronghorn Antelope. Some of his works were translated into Spanish and Japanese. He was also an award-winning photographer, and his photographs illustrated many of his articles and books.

In his earlier years, he was best known as an expert varmint hunter. Several of his books did much to popularize this form of hunting. In 1932, he built a log cabin near the Narrows on French Creek in Custer State Park. There he weathered the Great Depression and did most of his writing. In 1949 he won the National Crow Shooting Championship, using calls of his own design to take first place over 51 other contestants. Bert was always interested in natural history and wildlife management as well as hunting.

In 1979, he donated a collection of his books, original manuscripts, and photographs to his alma mater, South Dakota State University. At the convention of the Outdoor Writers Association of America in Rapid City, the State of South Dakota presented him with a special award as the Dean of South Dakota Outdoor Writers. In the 1980's, Bert contracted cancer and eventually suffered a stroke, which hospitalized him. He died on February 14, 1982


The Bert Popowski Papers are arranged into eight series:

Series 1. General

Series 2. Illustrations

Series 3. Japanese Magazine: Modern Hunting

Series 4. Manuscripts

Series 5: Phonograph Record

Series 6. Photographs

Series 7. Published Articles

Series 8. Research Material

Folders are arranged alphabetically within each series.

Contents Note

This collection is composed of articles, manuscripts, and materials related to Popowski's career as author and hunter. Included are photographs, illustrations, and many articles. Bulk of collection is copies of articles authored by Popowski on the subject of hunting and wildlife.

The general materials are composed of correspondence from 1942-1956.

The illustrations consist of several loose-leaf illustrations of crows drawn by Gordon Elliott for Popowski's book titled Crow Shooting and include 29 ink drawings. Also included are two folders of photograph proofs (37 pages) for Popowski's book titled Hunting Pronghorn Antelope, 1 mat board drawing of a fireplace in what is suspected to be Popowski's cabin and drawn by C. Greenidge and one phonograph record titled Crow Calling.

The Japanese magazine Modern Hunting is composed of article submitted by Popowski.

The manuscripts are accompanied by correspondence sent to publishers and an information card, which notes to which publications Popowski sent his manuscripts, whether or not they were published and the amount he was paid for these manuscripts.

The phonograph records is composed of a recording of Popowski demonstrating crow calls. The photographs consist of several black and white photographs, mostly of wildlife and hunting, and a few negatives. Some items of note are 22 matted and signed black and white photographs that Popowski entered into a photography contest at the Iowa State Fair. He won first prize for these photographs.

The research material is the largest series is Popowski's collection of articles he had published in various hunting and wildlife publications. These articles cover a wide range of subjects from big game, crow and varmint hunting to safety and conservation issues. Included also is an autographed copy of The Outdoorsman (June 1947) in which Popowski wrote an article titled "Off-Season" Duck Hunting.


Calling All Game
Harrisburg, Pa., Stackpole Co., 1952.
Call number: SD Collection: SK33.P6ca

Calling All Varmints
Harrisburg, Pa., Stackpole Co., 1952.
Call number: SD Collection: SK33.P6c

Crow Shooting
New York: A.S. Barnes and Company, 1946.
Call number: SD Collection: SK325.C7 P6

Hunting Pronghorn Antelope
Harrisburg, Pa., Stackpole Co., 1959.
Call number: SD Collection: SK305.A6 P6h

Hunting Small Game
New York: Macmillian Co., 1948.
Call number: SD Collection: SK36.P63

Manual dil Cazador de Alimanas y Grajos (The varmint and crow hunter's bible. Spanish)
Barcelona: Editorial Sintes, 1964, c 1962.
Call number: SD Collection: SK33.P58718

Olt's Hunting Handbook
Omaha? c1948.
Call number: SD Collection: SK313.P6

South Dakota Brags
Custer, S.D.: The Author, 1953.
Call number: SD Collection: F651.5.P6

The Hunter's Book of the Pronghorn Antelope
Tulsa, Okla., Winchester Press, c1982.
Call number: SD Collection: SK305.P76 P66 1982

The Redbook of Big Game Hunting
Skokie, Ill., Publishers Development Corp., 1961
Call number: SD Collection: SK33.P588

The Varmint and Crow Hunter's Bible
Garden City, N. Y., Doubleday, 1962.
Call number: SD Collection: SK33.P587

Varmint Hunting
Paterson, N. J., Athletic Activities Pub. Co., 1971.
Call number: SD Collection: SK336.P66

Key Words

Big game hunting

Elliott, Gordon



Popowski, Bert, 1904-1982 -- Archives

Container List

View container list on Open Prairie

1. General12Correspondence1952
1. General11Correspondence1942-1951
1. General13Correspondence1953-1956
1. General14Miscellaneousundated
2. Illustrations8Drawings1 matted drawing of a fireplace drawn by C. Greenidgeundated
2. Illustrations8Drawings29 ink drawingsundated
2. Illustrations8ProofsCrow shooting illustrations (33 p.)undated
3. Japanese Magazine: Modern Hunting72[No Articles Found]1968
3. Japanese Magazine: Modern Hunting78Aim of Elk Hunting; p. 38-431970
3. Japanese Magazine: Modern Hunting74Crow Shooting (Last - Decoy); p. 56-641969
3. Japanese Magazine: Modern Hunting73Crow Shooting; p. 30-381969
3. Japanese Magazine: Modern Hunting75Decoying Ducks; p. 54-611969
3. Japanese Magazine: Modern Hunting79Decoying The Divers; p. 17-241970
3. Japanese Magazine: Modern Hunting76Detail Survey of Deer Hunting By Calling (Part 1); p. 30-35 and Calling for Ducks; p. 98-1011969
3. Japanese Magazine: Modern Hunting77Detail Survey of Deer Hunting By Calling (Part 2); p. 30-371969
3. Japanese Magazine: Modern Hunting71Translation of article titles1968-1970
4. Manuscripts21Alaska1967, 1973-1974
4. Manuscripts22Big Game1957-1970
4. Manuscripts27Big Game : Elkundated
4. Manuscripts23Big Game: Antelope1957-1975
4. Manuscripts24Big Game: Bear1955-1957
4. Manuscripts25Big Game: Bison1957-1958, 1969
4. Manuscripts26Big Game: Deer1955-1976
4. Manuscripts28Big Game: Mooseundated
4. Manuscripts29Big Game: Sheep1975-1976
4. Manuscripts210Big Game: Turkey1958-1977
4. Manuscripts211Binoculars and Scopes1973, undated
4. Manuscripts213Book: Call of the Wildundated
4. Manuscripts212Book: Calling All Crowsundated
4. Manuscripts214Book: Hunting Pronghorn Antelope1959
4. Manuscripts31Camping1959, undated
4. Manuscripts32Conservation1960-1976
4. Manuscripts33Cookery1973-1978
4. Manuscripts34Dogs1974-1975
4. Manuscripts35Firearms1955-1978
4. Manuscripts36Fishing1947-1957
4. Manuscripts37Game Birds1953, 1966-1975
4. Manuscripts38Game Birds: Grouse1958, 1974-1975
4. Manuscripts39Game Birds: Pheasant1964-1974
4. Manuscripts310Game Birds: Prairie Chicken1965-1968
4. Manuscripts311Game Birds: Quailundated
4. Manuscripts312Game Preparation1964-1970
4. Manuscripts313Hunters1973-1975
4. Manuscripts314Huntingundated
4. Manuscripts315Hunting and Game Laws1968-1973
4. Manuscripts316Hunting Gear1964-1970
4. Manuscripts41Hunting Techniques1956-1975
4. Manuscripts42Miscellaneous1966, 1972-1973
4. Manuscripts43Safety1973-1976
4. Manuscripts44Small Game1975-1978
4. Manuscripts47Small Game: Bobcat1955-1957
4. Manuscripts48Small Game: Coyote1946-1970
4. Manuscripts45Small Game: Crow1952-1977
4. Manuscripts46Small Game: Dove1973-1974
4. Manuscripts49Small Game: Foxundated
4. Manuscripts410Small Game: Magpie1952
4. Manuscripts411Small Game: Mink1956
4. Manuscripts412Small Game: Porcupineundated
4. Manuscripts413Small Game: Prairie Dog1958
4. Manuscripts414Small Game: Rabbit1956-1973
4. Manuscripts415Small Game: Rat1952
4. Manuscripts416Small Game: Squirrel1967-1975
4. Manuscripts417Small Game: Woodchuck1977
4. Manuscripts91South Dakota Brags1953
4. Manuscripts418Waterfowl: Duck1947-1973
4. Manuscripts51Waterfowl: Goose1955-1957
4. Manuscripts52Weather1970
4. Manuscripts53Wildlife1954-1973
5. Phonograph record8Phonograph RecordPhotograph record titled Crow Calling (78 rpm)undated
6. Photographs101Award-winning photographs1939
6. Photographs710Hunting and fishingundated
6. Photographs711Hunting techniquesundated
6. Photographs712Miscellaneous1937-1938, undated
6. Photographs92Miscellaneousundated
6. Photographs713Portraits1949, undated
6. Photographs714Proofs-Hunting Pronghorn Antelope: Final setundated
6. Photographs715Proofs-Hunting Pronghorn Antelope: Rough draftundated
6. Photographs716Tomahawksundated
6. Photographs717Wildlifeundated
7. Published Articles54Ammunition1938-1964
7. Published Articles55Big Game1948-1962
7. Published Articles56Big Game: Antelope1948-1962
7. Published Articles57Big Game: Bear1951-1962
7. Published Articles58Big Game: Bison1959
7. Published Articles59Big Game: Deer1941-1963
7. Published Articles510Big Game: Elk1952-1962
7. Published Articles511Big Game: Moose1962
7. Published Articles512Big Game: Mountain Goat1950
7. Published Articles513Big Game: Mountain Lion1958
7. Published Articles514Big Game: Turkey1960
7. Published Articles515Cabins1935-1941
7. Published Articles516Conservation1948
7. Published Articles517Cookeryundated
7. Published Articles518Dogs1952-1959
7. Published Articles519Firearms1939-1963
7. Published Articles520Fishing1938-1962
7. Published Articles521Game Birds1939
7. Published Articles522Game Birds: Grouse1958-1961
7. Published Articles523Game Birds: partridge1960
7. Published Articles524Game Birds: Pheasant1937-1963
7. Published Articles525Game Preparation1960
7. Published Articles526Hunters1945-1958
7. Published Articles61Hunting1947-1962
7. Published Articles62Hunting Gear1951
7. Published Articles63Hunting Guides1950-1963
7. Published Articles64Hunting Techniques1942-1962
7. Published Articles65Miscellaneous1935-1938
7. Published Articles66Photography1945
7. Published Articles67Small Game1942-1962
7. Published Articles68Small Game: Bobcat1952-1961
7. Published Articles69Small Game: Coyote1953-1959
7. Published Articles610Small Game: Crow1938-1963
7. Published Articles611Small Game: Fox1941-1943
7. Published Articles612Small Game: Magpie1961
7. Published Articles613Small Game: Owl1948, 1959-1960
7. Published Articles614Small Game: Prairie Dog1941-1962
7. Published Articles615Small Game: Rabbit1942-1959
7. Published Articles616Small Game: Raccoon1960
7. Published Articles617Small Game: Snake1943
7. Published Articles618Small Game: Squirrel1940-1943
7. Published Articles619Small Game: Woodchuck1939-1961
7. Published Articles620Waterfowl: Duck1940-1962
7. Published Articles621Waterfowl: Goose1942-1963
7. Published Articles622Weather1944
7. Published Articles623Wildlife1945
8. Research material15Magazine Articles1946-1973
8. Research material16Magazines1949-1971
8. Research material17Newspaper clippings1952-1957
8. Research material18Statistics1938-1958

Administrative Information

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open to researchers without restrictions. The materials in the Archives do not circulate and may be used in-house only.

Researchers conducting extensive research are asked to make an advance appointment to access archival material. Please call or e-mail prior to visiting the collection and indicate as much detail as possible about a particular topic and intended use.

South Dakota State University supports access to the materials, published and unpublished, in its collections. Nonetheless, access to some items may be restricted as a result of their fragile condition or by contractual agreements with donors.

Copyright note

Copyright restrictions apply in different ways to different materials. Many of the documents and other historical materials in the Archives are in the public domain and may be reproduced and used in any way. There are other materials in the Archive carrying a copyright interest and must be used according to the provisions of Title 17 of the U.S. Code. The Archive issues a warning concerning copyright restrictions to every researcher who requests copies of documents. Although the copyright law is under constant redefinition in the courts, it is ultimately the responsibility of the researcher to properly use copyrighted material.

Arranged and Described by

Crystal J. Gamradt, 1998 March 1.

Processing note

This collection was received prior to 1997, when the South Dakota State University Archives was established. The acting archivist created a preliminary inventory of materials received. Final arrangement and description was completed by Crystal J. Gamradt on 31 March 1998.