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Gunning Snipe on the Gulf Coast 1901
Unread 09-17-2020, 11:58 AM   #1
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Default Gunning Snipe on the Gulf Coast 1901

Was sorting some of the litter in my computer room this morning and came up with this from Sporting Life, March 16, 1901 --

Sporting Life, March 16, 1901.jpeg

This is a decade or so earlier then what I think of as the first heyday of the 3-inch 20-gauge.
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Unread 09-17-2020, 01:22 PM   #2
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That is very interesting! You don't see much on early snipe shooting, outside of J J Pringle's book.
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Unread 09-17-2020, 02:07 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mills Morrison View Post
That is very interesting! You don't see much on early snipe shooting, outside of J J Pringle's book.
Pringle's book is indeed fascinating and on of the few singular treatises on snipe other than Worth Matthewson's 'Reflections on Snipe.
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Unread 09-17-2020, 02:26 PM   #4
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One of these days I want to get a first edition. Not for $7500 though
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Unread 09-17-2020, 07:26 PM   #5
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I really like the paintings by A.B. Frost of snipe shooting in the marsh from boats poled by guides. I wouldn't be surprised to learn that some of those fellows caught some bird shot from time to time.





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Unread 09-17-2020, 07:29 PM   #6
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I love A. B. Frost. Also Thomas Eakins' "Pushing for Rail" is one of my favorites.
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Unread 09-18-2020, 05:32 PM   #7
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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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Unread 09-18-2020, 06:18 PM   #8
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I’m curious how one is able to find downed birds in such marsh tangles?





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Unread 09-19-2020, 03:08 PM   #9
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[QUOTE=Dean Romig;312300]Iím curious how one is able to find downed birds in such marsh tangles?


Dean, attached is a shot of some typical styles of markers and a tiny dip net used to retrieve downed birds. The markers are thrown as close to the downed birds as possible then the skiff is poled to the site and the search begins. As many as 4 or 5 birds may jump within the length of the boat, so bright visible markers are a must in locating dead birds. Some guides simply use bright yellow or chartreuse tennis balls - not very nostalgic but very effective!
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Unread 09-19-2020, 03:15 PM   #10
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Thanks very much Kevin - that makes perfect sense.





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