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Free Tips...

click to enlargeTHE BAGGING OF A QUACK

Early Americans saw the sport of duck hunting quite differently from how we view it today. In the days of the Pilgrims, an estimated 1/2-billion ducks inhabited America. Duck hunting involved no sport. The meat provided vittles,and you bagged them any way you could. Here's some tactics for taking ducks.


In the eastern U.S. in the late 1700s and 1800s where large rafts of ducks came through every winter, the occupation of market hunting flourished. Besides the fact that people needed ducks for food, farmers fed them to their pigs, also. This vast demand for market gunners meant a man who loved to hunt could hunt and earn a living at the same time.

click to enlargeThe great abundance of waterfowl must have seemed non-ending as Thomas Morton wrote in the 17th century that he had had more than 1000 geese before the muzzle of his gun at one time. Another historian recorded that he had seen the harbor at Lynn, Massachusetts, frequently so covered with ducks and geese that he couldn't see the water. The smooth- bore, black-powder fowling pieces grew bigger each year, developing at last into small swivel cannon known as punt guns mounted on boats. These black-powder guns could almost wipe out a flock of swimming ducks.

For instance, many of the market gunners in later years on the Texas Gulf Coast averaged taking 200 ducks each daily. One man figured to have killed about 360,000 ducks in his 16 years of market gunning. By 1900, only 150 million ducks and geese survived in the U.S.

Come Back Throughout the Week for More Free Tips...

Day One - Tolling Ducks
Day Two - Market Gunning Ducks

Day Three - Take Early 20th Century Ducks
Day Four - Stalking Ducks

Day Five - Jump Shooting Essentials

For more tips from the pros
visit Night Hawk's Free Tips page.