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Unread 09-18-2020, 05:32 PM   #7
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Kevin McCormack
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Both A.B. Frost and Thomas Eakins depicted shooting railbirds (not snipe) from rail skiffs poled across the marsh. (Snipe can be walked up in flooded fields or slackwater adjacent to marshes, but you can only very rarely wade for any rail I know of except maybe Clapper or King rail due to the texture of the marsh. I became obsessed with Sora rail hunting in the early 1990s and hunted them on the Maurice ("Morris") River in NJ and the upper Patuxent River below Lower Marlboro MD, both rail shooting strongholds from the 1880s.

I once drove all the way to Philadelphia (around 3 hrs. from my home) in subzero cold just to see Thomas Eakins' original painting that Mills mentioned (below). It depicts rail shooting on the Delaware River below Port Penn just southeast of Philadelphia. It was one of an exhibit of 113 of Eakins' original works, all assembled from private donors for a special exhibit at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. It was more than worth the drive.

The second picture depicts the modern version: brother Tom goes to the ready as he and pusher Jack Smith enter a rice 'meadow' on the Maurice River near Port Elizabeth, NJ. And for those who just 'have to know', Tom's gun is a 28" VH 28 gauge Parker!).
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File Type: jpg th6NBSFGDJEakinsRailShootingResized.jpg (64.6 KB, 9 views)
File Type: jpg Jack&TomRailShootingResized.jpg (199.8 KB, 11 views)
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