The night crawlers weren’t boisterous, but the earthworm hunters crawling around in the night kept residents awake with their noise.

The July 23, 1940, edition of the Idaho Evening Times told of the sleepless nights folks endured on the block between Shoshone Street and what is now Gooding Street North, and between Ninth and 10th avenues North.

Apparently, the block was the favorite hunting grounds for anglers in search of bait.

“They bring their flashlights and hunt for the night crawlers as late as 3 and 4 o’clock in the morning,” the newspaper said. “They chatter and yell and it sounds like a picnic. Furthermore, they never ask permission to hunt the worms but park right in front of a private home and invade the yard without further ceremony.”

A spokesman said the noise was getting so loud the residents weren’t getting any sleep.

“We residents serve notice right now that if the practice doesn’t cease it will lead to arrests or charges of trespassing or property destruction,” the spokesman said.

The warning must have been effective, because no mention of noisy worm hunters followed in the next few weeks.

Mychel Matthews reports on agriculture and rural issues for the Times-News. The Hidden History feature runs every Thursday in the Times-News and on If you have a question about something that may have historical significance, email Matthews at