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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Oct. 1, 1902: "Duck hunting has always been a favorite past time with the hunters of this state, and each year finds hundreds of recruits to the already filled ranks. This season seems to find far more persons who are anxious to join the ranks of the hunters, and the rivers, lakes, sloughs, ponds and ditches in this state will be fairly lined with shooters when the sun first peeps over the Wasatch Mountains this morning. . . . For the past month the gun stores have sold hundreds of new guns and ammunition by the carload. All day yesterday and all night long the trains and streets leading from the city to the numerous haunts of the wild ducks were crowded with shooters anxious to bring home a bag as the result of their day's sport. From the Jordan to Decker's Lake there will be one stream of fire that in a distance will look not unlike the long snake-like blaze of a prairie fire."
September 25, 2004: "Six days hence and Utah hunters will once again be in clover. It will be the opening of the fall duck shooting and myriads of the feathered tribe are fat and juicy for the slaughter that is bound to follow. The opening of the duck season in Utah is one of the memorable days of the year among a large class of its citizens for Utah has more duck hunters than in any state in the Union. . . . Duck shooting could properly be called the national sport of Utah and interest will be at fever heat on next Saturday. . . . A new feature in duck hunting in Utah will be the use of automobiles. In the past horses, bicycles, wagons and carts of all descriptions have been used to carry the army of hunters from the city. . . The only disappointing outlook for the opening of the season is the weather. Ducks fly high in clear weather."
October 1, 1904: "No, brown canvas suits are not the fall style for men's wear. A stranger in Salt Lake yesterday might have thought the male population of Zion had adopted a new style of clothing consisting of a brown canvas cap, coat, trousers and rubber boots. Hundreds of them were seen, but if one had observed more closely he would have seen that the wearer of this uniform invariably carried a gun over his shoulder. The hundreds of citizens were all headed toward the setting sun, and all day long and up until an early hour this morning parties of twos and threes were travelling toward the shores of the Great Salt Lake. . . . Just as the small boy looks forward to the Fourth of July, so does the duck hunter await with impatience for today, the time when the law says he can go out and kill forty ducks every day for the next three months. . . Rigs of all kinds were pressed into use yesterday afternoon and last night carrying hunters out. Many went early to pass the night in some blind or secluded spot to be on hand before late arrivals. Others left the city as late as 4 o'clock this morning content to take chances of getting with gun fire of the much sought after ducks."
October 2, 1908: "The scene west of the city during the night before the opening and yesterda is the old familiar one to those who have witnessed them. During the night small red spots scattered as far as one could see denoted the campfires, around which from half a dozen to twenty or thirty hunters awaited the coming of daylight. . . . As the sun came up the ducks flew higher. . . . Ask one of the hunters how the shooting was and he will tell you it was the best he has ever seen and that he has been shooting ducks in Utah his whole life. Ask another man and he will say that the shooting was poorer than he had ever seen it."
 

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Very cool! I love reading about all kinds of waterfowling history, it's really cool to see some that's Utah-specific!
 

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The more things change, the more they stay the same....
 

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That was a fun little read...I didn't realize Decker Lake had been there for so long.
 

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That was a fun little read...I didn't realize Decker Lake had been there for so long.
Yep. My 84 year-old grandfather says he remembers hunting ducks there back in the day (though I'll admit, his memory isn't always trustworthy).
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
There were quite a few large lakes and marsh complexes that were popular duck hunting spots that were drained. They included, among others, Williams, White, Hunter, Hot Springs and the "Church Farm" sloughs and lake around 12th south and the Jordan River.
Some more entries:
October 1, 1894: "in anticipation of the day's sport duck shooters last night were as thick as locusts around a Kansas corn stalk."
October 2, 1895: "an exodus of hunters took place. Many left Monday night, so as to be on the hunting grounds early. . . . Mr. Lowe had a very fine Irish retriever with him and every time any one shot a duck within a quarter of a mile, the dog would retrieve it and bring it to his master. In this manner, Mr. Lowe had a very successful morning's sport."
October 2, 1898: Opening day poor despite good weather. "The shooting up at Bear River bay and along the shores of Utah Lake may prove to have been much better than nearer the city, where a man with a gun was hidden in well-nigh every clump of sedge or willow."
 
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