Title: Duck Hunting on Lake Andes


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Duck Hunting on Lake Andes.

Clate R. Tinan, editor o f the Kimball Graphic spent a few days with his friend, Levi D. Wait of Armour, hunting ducks on Lake Andes last fall and on his return home published the following in the Graphic:

"The ducks have gone for their winter's visit in the south land, for it is a visit merely, the north land being their true and only home, where they nest and rear their young and where they would always remain were it not for the freezing of the waters they love so well, and if I should never see any of them again, I should feel always that the enjoyment and keen sport they gave me for a few days hunt at Lake Andes, nestling in the prairie land of Charles Mix, was a fit culmination not only of a season's rare hunting but years upon years of it in times gone by. "In response to repeated invitations from my old friend, Levi D. Wait, and which finally terminated in a positive demand, I was finally induced to break away from the cares of this printing office just before election and spend a few days with him at his 'shack' on the bank of the lake about ten miles from Armour, and that outing stands out as the most conspicuous and enjoyable duck shooting experience that I have ever had in South Dakota — and I have 'gone some' at times.

The lake is ten miles long, from half a mile wide, four to eight feet deep, and with very little 'cover' and that mostly along the edges and out of the line of fight of the main body of ducks. To get action on the ducks one must be provided with a modern "sneak" boat, or something equally as good, decoys, perhaps, and of course a place to sleep and eat convenient to the best grounds for shooting. A tent isn't the war nest thing in the world in cold weather, when the big ducks are at the lake, and the inconvenience of the transportation of boats and camping outfit to the shores of the lake is a big undertaking. In common with a bunch of other Armourites, Mr. Wait has a 'shack' at the lake, equipped with all the accessories for either summer or winter camping, including boats, decoys, fishing, tackle, and son on, and a good place for his team.

"Now, nobody likes 'all the comforts of home' better than your humble scribe, especially after a hard day's outing with the gun, but the camping out part of it, under proner conditions, is as much a part of the real genuine sport of it as the shooting. To run the nose of your boat, well filled with ducks, into the bank of the lake after dark, and in the inky blackness of the night swing open the door of the shack and find your companion there and a good fire and a bang-up hot supper under ful headway - wel, say, may the Good Lord have pity on the skim milk soul that has never felt it. It is the autum spirit focalized, the quintessence of everything that is bully and first rate. But it's hard work — the shooting part of it, not the eating.


My old friend, Frank J. Corey, of Watertown, a dead game sportsman, characterizes slough shooting as the next hardest to feeding a threshing machine. To my notion it's boy's play compared with being cramped up in a steel ducking boat from daylight until noon, lying in all sorts of positions but easy ones to shoot from; in scant cover scarcely higher than the cockpit and perhaps in winds that keep you busy holding hte boat anchored half the time and the other half pounding your legs to keep them from freezing stiff. The man who prides himself on being a good duck shot, standing on his feet, will under such conditions have the conceit all knocked out of him, and he will especially be up against it when he draws a bead on tehahrdest bird to kill that flies - the blue bill duck.

"We happened to hit the lake when the main flight of these northern deep water fowl were on their southern flight. They were there by the thousands and with the a goodly number of canvasbacks and redheads, all three varieties of which consort. The blue bills were so numerous that it was not necessary to spend much time trying ot get onto the feeding grounds of the canvasbacks and redheads, all three varieties of which consort. The blue bills were so numerous that it was not necessary to spend much time trying to get onto the feeding grounds of the canvasbacks and redheads, and what we got of the latter were scratch shots in the early morning shooting at early daylight. Blue bill shooting when it is good can scarcely be excelled. They are an extremely gamey bird, wonderfully fast flyers and rely on their tremendous speed rather than the height of their flight to outwit the enemy. They decoy well, but to their own specie only, or canvasbacks and red heads, and when headed for some favorite feeding ground or midday resort afford the fastest as well as the most difficult in shotting imaginable to the hunter in a properly constructed boat blind. They are always busy and are continually flying from place to place all day long, and always seemingly at times for no other purpose than for exercise or to see how good a shot you are. I have in year gone by had some magnificent shooting on these birds along the marshes of the great lakes, but never any better than at Lake Andes of October, 1908."