Miles probably has in mind large nets, up to 20 feet high and 100 feet long, used by professional pigeoners in the last half of the nineteenth century. Startled by gunshots or fires, swarms of pigeons "struck the net with such force that they either fell dead to the ground or became entangled in the netting" (A Passing in Cincinnati 10). Pigeoners also used a "stool pigeon," fluttering wildly after being injured, to attract a flock of birds into the net.