A MORNING'S DUCK HUNT ON THE ILLINOIS RIVER
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A MORNING'S DUCK HUNT ON THE ILLINOIS RIVER

A MORNING'S DUCK HUNT ON THE ILLINOIS RIVER




      

A MORNING'S DUCK HUNT ON THE ILLINOIS RIVER


A MORNING'S DUCK HUNT ON THE ILLINOIS RIVER

The time had finally arrived and pal and myself were fitted out for a ducking trip. We left [he village about 10 o'clock and arrived at camp about 12 midnight, and got things in ship-shape about camp for the morning's flight of ducks. Morning at last dawned and we got our boat and decoys and rowed to our destination. By the time the decoys were anchored out, and the blind put into shape, it was light enough to shoot. Presently a bunch of mallards circled over head and in response to the assuring jabbering of the decoys, slanted down. As they steadied their feet to alight we opened fire. Pal dropped two with his Winchester pump, and I dropped one, and sent another flopping in the weeds, a cripple, with my Marlin pump. It is against our policy to let any cripples get away, so I rowed from the blind, killed the cripple and returned, also picking up the others.

Next came a flock of bluebills, a mile a minute, circling around the blind. The sharp cracks of the heavy duck loads rang-out and five bluebills hit the water. They were bunched closely. As the rest of the bluebills left, there was a lull in the morning's flight. An occasional duck or small flock maneuvered across the sky, far out of range, but didn't come in. At last our hearts leaped with anticipation as we sighted a large flock headed our way far across the marshes. Bang! bang! rang a gun faintly and we saw a duck tumble from the flock, turning over and over in his rapid descent. The hunter had scored a good shot. The flock rose higher and higher and we gave up hope of getting a shot at all, as they crossed high above us, too high to even hear the whistle of their wings. Our decoys finally began calling lustily, and our hearts leaped again, and we grasped our guns firmer, as we saw the flock circle far behind us and come back on a long slant with the wind. As they passed over us and circled again, Pal whispered anxiously, "Mallards." Still as a stone we sat, as the shrill whistle of their wings could be heard plainly and circling in easy gunshot. They stretched their feet and as they did so Pal shouted "Shoot." The psychological moment was at hand. Our twelve gauges spoke rapidly and three fat mallards hit the water. As the flock rose again we fired and one more dropped, a long shot. I looked at Pal and he looked at me and grinned. We retrieved our ducks and concluded that as we did not want to belong to the game-hog class, it was time to quit. Thus ended our morning's shoot, with eight mallards, and five bluebills. We picked up our decoys and rowed to camp and soon after headed for the village and hoped the time would soon come when we could go again.

W. J. Z. Kane Co., 111.

Fur, News. Fur News, January 1916.

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