Sunday, February 7, 2010

The Hunter

Here's Charlie, my father, as I remember him coming in from hunting - a happy man. Looks like he may have got the limit and I do know some of the ducks are mallards. My mom cooked a lot of ducks - and she knew how to cook them well - but I never did really like wild duck. The only thing that I liked was the leg - which was very little but a much moister piece of meat than the rest of the bird.

This is a much earlier picture of Dad out in his boat as is the following picture...................

Hunting was a big part of Dad's life and even though money was short he always had his hunting license and shells. As I said above, many meals we had featured duck and also produce from the garden that he grew and Mom canned. I can remember one Thanksgiving when almost everything we had for dinner came from the garden and Dad's hunting expeditions. Like so many people back then, living was hard work. I posted earlier about my washday experiences with the wringer washer. Mine was a walk in the park compared to what my mother had to do. For quite awhile after we had moved to Rome, she had to pump the water, heat it on the coal or kerosene stove and wash on the back porch. In the summer it was fine - unless it rained. In the winter, it was hell. We had no basement. She hung out as often as she could, or on the side porch, some on a line across the kitchen. Do you know that clothes can actually almost freeze dry? Bless her heart, what a hard working woman she was. You don't realize what people went through back then until you get older and it sinks in. Good grief, we have it so easy when it comes to actual everyday living. So why are we so hassled? I guess it's just a whole new world that brings a whole new set of problems and situations we didn't have back then.

Before I got on my soap box, I wanted to show you the duck call that Dad used to lure the birds over his duck blind. My brother gave it to me some time ago. I have two other ones that I bought at auctions and one is just like this - but I know this is Dad's with the old cord still around it. (I wanted to make an observation about the abbreviation of Illinois on the duckcall. It is Ills. - if you look at the picture of my mother and aunt as the header of my blog you will see that Aunt Nelle - who did a lot of writing on the front of pictures - used that same Ills. Before the two letter abbreviations of states, I thought it was always Ill.)

Another pasttime my father loved and did all his life. He loved fishing - and some of that rubbed off on me, too. Ray loved to fish and I was his fishing buddy. We did a lot of it. This is a picture of Dad fishing at the Casting Club in Chillicothe. I can remember when I was a little kid seeing him make big nets with the shuttle and thingie in the picture below......

I don't know what the process is called but it made knotted cord net and I think there were big hoops and two lead in pieces to guide the fish into the nets. Clear as mud? Anyway, I will have to see if I can find out more about that on the internet. Dad also put out a lot of trout lines and used leaches as bait. And my mother could really, really fry fish and I loved those!! Nothing like a good catfish fried in an old iron skillet. So that is my tale of my father's love of hunting and fishing. (Click to enlarge)


  1. who cooked the fish in your household Ray or you? My neighbor Dale does the fishing and he also does the frying. His wife won't do it but we all enjoy the fish. lol

  2. Carol - I enjoyed reading this blog and the pictures - what a nice story... I have to say there is nothing like being camping and doing a fish fry (did that when was younger). I love Duck so would have enjoyed your Mum's cooking! Cheers, Jewels